Online Encyclopedia

LAMPETER (Llanbedr-pont-Stephan)

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 134 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LAMPETER (Llanbedr-pont-Stephan), a market town, municipal borough and assize town of Cardiganshire, Wales, on the right bank of the Teifi, here crossed by an ancient stone bridge. Pop. (Tool) 1722. Lampeter is a station on the so-called Manchester-and-Milford branch line of the Great Western railway. Though of ancient origin, the town is entirely modern in appearance, its most conspicuous object being the Gothic buildings of St David's College, founded in 1822, which cover a large area and contain a valuable library of English, Welsh and foreign works (see UNIVERSITIES). The modernized parish church of St Peter, or Pedr, contains some old monuments of the Lloyd family. North of the town are the park and mansion of Falcondale, the seat of the Harford family. The name of Llanbedr-pont-Stephan goes to prove the early foundation of the place by St Pedr, a Celtic missionary of the 6th century, while one Stephen was the original builder of the bridge over the Teifi. As an important outpost in the upper valley of the Teifi, Lampeter possessed a castle, which was demolished by Owen Gwynedd in the 12th century. In 1188 the town was visited by Archbishop Baldwin on his way from Cardigan to Strata-Florida Abbey, and the Crusade was vigorously preached at this spot. Lampeter was first imcorporated under Edward II., but the earliest known charter dates from the reign of Henry VI., whereby the principal officer of the town, a portreeve, was to be appointed annually at the court-leet of the manor. The town was subsequently governed under a confirmatory charter of 1814, but in 1884 a new charter was obtained, whereby the corporation was empowered to consist of a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Although only a small agricultural centre, Lampeter has since 1886 become the assize town of Cardiganshire owing to its convenient position. Until the Redistribution Act of 1885 Lampeter formed one of the group of boroughs comprising the Cardigan parliamentary district.
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