history of the twin towns
to Dr. John Davies
and to André Bozec
to allow the
use of their works
of Llandysul a'r Fro
a paper prepared by Dr John Davies, a local historian
The history of Llandysul a’r
Fro is very interesting and although some events have only local
significance others are of national importance.
Vortigern, who first invited the Saxons to
in the 5th century, was driven westward by
Germanus, who came here about the year 440 AD. Vortigern was cornered in
the hill-fort Craig Gwrtheyrn, which has ever since been named after him.
It is the conical hill across the river Teifi in the parish of
Llanfihangel-ar-Arth. It is said that Germanus fasted for three days and
three nights and in the middle of the third night fire descended from
heaven and burnt the fortress, killing Vortigern and all his wives.
This is a typical folk tale of
, but this one is very, very old because it was written down by one of
the earliest British historians - Nennius - in the 8th century.
The fine old
– Saint Tysul - is the oldest building
in the village. It dates from the 13th century but stands on an
ancient foundation founded by Saint Tysul in the 6th century.
Saint Tysul was the son of Corun, the son of Ceredig, who gave his name to
the kingdom, now the
. Ceredig had another son Sant, who was the
father of our Patron Saint Dewi. Thus Tysul and Dewi Sant were first
cousins. Ceredig himself was the son of Cunedda, king of Edinburgh, who
came south to drive Irish settlers out of Gwynedd, and thus founded the
royal dynasty of
In the Choir vestry of the Church there is an early
Christian inscribed stones, the ‘Velfor Stone’, commemorating
“Velvoria, daughter of Brohomaglus”. This stone has a bilingual
inscription, in Latin and Ogham - the ancient Irish language- and thus
gives evidence of the Irish population settled here at the time.
Llandysul 's Church
Owain Glyndwr was chosen Prince of Wales
because his father, Gruffydd Fychan, was prince of Powys (mid-Wales), and
his mother, Elen, was princess of Deheubarth (
). Elen, her sister and two brothers, were
directly descended from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the last king of all
. The men of Llandysul were the first to
join Owain in war in 1400, and thus Henry IV, at the end of the revolt,
confiscated Owain Glyndwr’s lands around Llandysul.
Elen and Gruffydd Fychan had been lords of Llandysul
when Elen’s brother Owain ap Thomas ap Llywelyn, and uncle Owain ap
Llywelyn died. These men had been joint patrons of the
and held courts in the town. There is thus reason to think that amongst
the older buildings of Llandysul may be the Court of Owain Glyndwr and his
During the English Civil war,
by 1644, the Royalist army was defending Ceredigion against the
Parliamentary army, who had overrun Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. The
old bridge at Llandysul had three arches and the Royalists pulled down the
one on the Pont-Tyweli side of the river to prevent the Parliamentarians
crossing into Ceredigion.
From earliest times New Year’s Day was
celebrated by a game of Cnapan – a form of football - played between the
communities of Llanwenog and Llandysul, the goals being the church porch.
By the beginning of the 19th century it was becoming rougher and one man
was killed and many injured during the event. When the new Gregorian
calendar changed the date of the New Year in 1752, the people of the area
continued to hold the football game on the old New Year, which thus became
the 12th January.
The toll of death and mutilations was not considered
to matter too much, but by 1833, the Vicar of Llandysul decided that it
was no longer suitable for the game to be played between the two churches.
He decided to establish a scripture competition between the local
parishes, in which teams representing each parish in the area compete in
recitations from memory. This competition, which continues to this day on
12th January, is unique in
on that date.
At the end of the 19th
and the beginning of the 20th century, the Welsh Woollen
Industry was important in the area especially thanks to the proximity of
rivers and sheep farms. The majority of the people were employed by the
textile industry, by working in mills, weaving or making (?) of clothes.
In 1871, there were 104 specialized weavers in the district, the
most prosperous employing one or two weavers. The arrival of the railway
in the second part of the 19th century made it easier to reach
Loom of the museum in Drefach-Felindre
Llandysul is famous thanks to the river Teifi that runs through the
village. Many people come from all over
for the fishing, especially the fishing of
sewin and salmon, and the canoeing.
a paper prepared by Andre
Before 1204, there is no record of the name of
Plogonnec. The few vestiges of Prehistory (tumulus in Kervolzet, menhir of
the church, the druidic rock of Kerioret) and the old Roman roads proved
that people passed through the
we have no remains of dwelling places.
It is an act of donation to Saint Ronan dating from
1204, the 21st of April, which indicates for the first time the
existence of Plogonnec. Its name comes from Ploe, meaning parish in Breton (plwyf
in Welsh), and Saint-Conec or Saint-Thegonnec. At this time, the
responsibility for public order in the parish of Plogonnec was held by the
Lord of Nevet.
At the time of Renaissance, the commerce of linen cloth
made Plogonnec prosperous. It was at this time that the majority of chapels
of Plogonnec were built as well as the manors of Bonescat, Rubihan,
and Seznec. These buildings were erected between the
15th and the 17th centuries.
This prosperity did not protect the parish from the
disturbances of the War of Religion (or War of the League) from 1588 to
1598 and the revolt of the Stamped Paper (or of the Red Cap) in 1665. One
of the precipitants of this revolt was the creation of new taxes, for
example the stamped paper authenticating judicial certificates. The Act of
Union (1532) had stated that no taxes could be raised by
without the agreement of the State of
. In Plogonnec, the
was attacked and its guard killed before the Rene II
of Nevet restored order.
In 1789, during the French Revolution, the priest of
Plogonnec, Jean-Marie Leissègues from Rosaven, was elected second deputy
of the low clergy of Cornouaille at the “Etats Généraux”, and then
member of the Constituent Assembly. However, he refused to swear to the
Republic as One and Indivisible and as a consequence emigrated to
In the 19th century, the living conditions
of the day-labourers were poor and the infant mortality rate was high in
Plogonnec. Roads were repaired and constructed and schools constructed. In
agriculture, horses replaced oxen for work in the fields. Corn, rye, barley,
oats, hemp and potato, which was the main food, were cultivated. At the end
of the century, the arrival of railway allowed a new contact with the
After the separation of Church and State on
9th December 1905
, an inventory of the Goods of Church had to be made,
before being entrusted to cultural associations. In Plogonnec, like
everywhere else in
, the inventory had to be made under the protection of
the army and police. The population tried to stop it because this law
offended people. A hive was thrown at the mounted police, who were
preparing to charge the crowd.
The two World Wars had a profound effect on the
population of Plogonnec. During the First World War, 169 people were killed,
about 5% of the population, and many were injured. During the Second World
War, the German occupation from 1943 and the actions of bands of rubbers
tormented the commune. At the departure of the German army, Plogonnec
escaped terrible reprisals after an attack on a German soldier in the train
station of Guengat. The German soldiers assembled the population at the
centre of Plogonnec intending to burn them in the Church, but thanks to long
negotiations, they renounced this intention and left the village with
Since the war, there have been many changes. The
coming of electricity to the countryside, the advent of the consumers’
society, the regrouping of agricultural properties with the redistribution
of lands, the levelling of hedges and the redrawing of roads (remembrement)
greatly modified the landscape. More residential houses were built and more
people began working in neighbouring towns.
During the 90’s, many new buildings have been
built, including a leisure centre, a new state school, a library, a new post
office and more recently a large community hall for meetings and
entertainment (socioculturelle). The construction of a new housing estate
gives the opportunity for many more people to settle in the commune.