Llanddewi Brefi

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Coordinates: 52°10′47″N 3°57′24″W / 52.1796°N 3.9568°W / 52.1796; -3.9568

Llanddewi Brefi
Llanddewi-Brefi Village - The New Inn.jpg
Llanddewi Brefi
Llanddewi Brefi is located in Ceredigion
Llanddewi Brefi
Llanddewi Brefi
 Llanddewi Brefi shown within Ceredigion
OS grid reference SN662553
Principal area Ceredigion
Ceremonial county Dyfed
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
List of places
UK
Wales
Ceredigion

Llanddewi Brefi (Welsh pronunciation: [ɬanˈðɛwi ˈbrɛvi]) is a village of approximately 500 people in Ceredigion, Wales.

In the sixth century, Saint David (in Welsh, Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales, held the Synod of Brefi here and it has borne his name ever since; "Llan" referring in Welsh place names to a church or holy place. Llanddewi Brefi (Welsh, meaning "Church of David on the [River] Brefi", the Brefi being a tributary of the River Teifi),[1] is one of the largest parishes in Wales.

History and description[edit]

St. David's church

The grade II* listed parish church of St David dates from the 12th century, on a site associated with religious worship since the 7th century. Fragments of much older buildings are incorporated into the Norman church. The church contains a modern statue of Saint David and a collection of Celtic crosses. When the Synod of Brefi was held in the village in the sixth century, it is said that the small hill upon which the church stands marks the spot where the ground was miraculously raised up under St David so that he could be heard better at this synod.

In addition to the Anglican church, there is a non-conformist chapel, two pubs and one village shop. The village and the surrounding area are largely Welsh-speaking and the local economy is dominated by sheep and dairy farming.

A mile (1500m) to the south-west and still within the parish is the Pont Gogoyan, also a grade II* listed structure, which carries a local over the River Teifi.[2]

In 1977 the village was the scene of one of the world's biggest ever raids involving the drug LSD. Over 6 million tabs of the drug were seized as part of Operation Julie on 26 March of that year.

Popular culture[edit]

Llanddewi Brefi was made famous by the BBC television series Little Britain, where the character Daffyd Thomas (a variation of the original Welsh name Dafydd; played by Matt Lucas) lives in the fictional village of Llandewi Breffi.[3] Daffyd is a ridiculously obtuse character who believes himself to be "the only gay in the village", and accuses his fellow citizens of homophobia despite their efforts to show acceptance of his sexual orientation and often quite obvious similar leanings.[4]

In one episode of the programme Daffyd decides to run away to London and heads for the railway station to catch the last train of the day, but unlike its fictional counterpart, the village never had its own railway station. The nearest station was at Pont Llanio, situated next to a former milk processing plant approximately a mile outside the village, on the former CarmarthenAberystwyth route. Although proposed for closure in the "Beeching Report", the line might well have survived on social grounds had it not been for serious damage due to flooding south of Aberystwyth in December 1964. The cost of repairs was deemed unjustified and led to the withdrawal of passenger services in February 1965, although milk trains continued to run from Carmarthen to Pont Llanio until 1970. Llanddewi Brefi has a bus service between Aberystwyth and Lampeter (approximately once every two hours) but in common with many rural areas, there are no buses after 18.00 in the evening and none on Sundays.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]