Llanddewi Brefi shown within Ceredigion
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Mid and West 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), is one of the largest parishes in Wales.
History and description
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.
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. 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.
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 Carmarthen – Aberystwyth 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.
- R. J. Thomas, Enwau Afonydd a Nentydd Cymru (University of Wales Press, 1938. Reprinted: ISBN 0-7083-0331-5), pp. 129-130.
- "Pont Gogoyan, Llanddewi Brefi". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "BBC Comedy, Little Britain Character Guide, Daffyd". BBC. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "Beryl Davies from Llanddewi Brefi paints a portrait of her village, made famous by the BBC comedy series 'Little Britain'.". BBC. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Llanddewi Brefi.|
- 20 minute BBC film about the village
- Operation Julie on BBC Online
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Llanddewi Brefi and surrounding area