The 18th and 19th Century Travel-Writers

What they said about Pontrhydfendigaid

From about the mid 18th century, the number of travellers visiting Wales for pleasure began to increase steadily. Most of the early tourist – late 18th and early 19th century – were English Gentry, woefully ignorant of Wales and its people. They wrote detailed accounts of their journeys which they, later, published as books. The latter were, basically, tourist-guides aimed at the would-be sightseers of that period – a minority band of highborn people who could afford the luxury of travel.

Select and click any item on the menu below and read what the author had to say about Pontrhydfendigaid and the surrounding districts. The menu-list is not arranged in any specific order.

Abaty Ystrad Fflur (Strata Florida Abbey), with its distinguished history and association with Dafydd ap Gwilym, was a ‘must-visit-place’ for all tourists with an interest in antiquities. For these people, it meant a journey through Pontrhydfendigaid, and some wrote briefly about the village including, in some cases, the local accommodation and the state of the roads. Others referred to such things as the surrounding landscape and local customs. While much of what was written was casual and superficial, it is still worth reading. It gives some indication of what life was like in this corner of Cardiganshire, and how it was perceived by ‘outside observers’ – coming from a vastly different culture and background.

Strata Florida Abbey

The Great West Door

- the entrance archway to the  Abbey Church

The Abbey was founded around 1164 A.D. under the patronage of  Lord Rhys, and many of his descendants are buried here