infobox UK place
country = Wales
constituency_welsh_assembly= Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
official_name= Llandeilo
unitary_wales= Carmarthenshire
lieutenancy_wales= Dyfed
constituency_westminster= Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
latitude= 51.884055
longitude= -3.999183
post_town= LLANDEILO
postcode_district = SA19
postcode_area= SA
dial_code= 01558
os_grid_reference= SN625225

Llandeilo (or Llandilo) is a town in Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales, situated at the crossing of the River Tywi by the A483 on an elegant stone bridge.

The town is served by Llandeilo railway station on the Heart of Wales Line.

Early history

Llandeilo is named after one of the better known Celtic saints of the 6th century, Saint Teilo. The Welsh word 'llan' signified a religious enclosure, normally one dedicated to a particular saint (thus corresponds, today, to 'church of'). Saint Teilo, who was a contemporary of Saint David the patron Saint of Wales, established a small monastic settlement or 'clas' on the site of the present-day church.

The early history of Llandeilo is therefore closely related to the establishment of Christianity in the local arena. Although there is very little factual detail about the life of Saint Teilo, the fact that he was highly respected in his lifetime and revered after his death is shown by the forty-five places dedicated to him, some as far afield as Brittany.

After Saint Teilo's death, two equally important ecclesiastical centres in Wales, namely Llandaff and St David's, laid claim to his body. There is reasonable evidence to suggest however, that Saint Teilo was buried in Llandeilo, where "he spent a solitary life gloriously". The parish church of Llandeilo Fawr (Great Llandeilo) is dedicated to Saint Teilo, and until 1880 its churchyard encompassed his baptistry.

The early Christian settlement that developed around the Church of Saint Teilo prospered and by the early 9th century it had attained considerable ecclesiastical status as the seat of a Bishop-Abbot. The Church of St Teilo soon became a 'mother church' to the surrounding district, acquiring an extensive estate and possessing one of the principality's most beautiful and finely illustrated manuscripts - the Gospel Book of Saint Teilo. The discovery of fragments of two large Celtic crosses from this period provide further testimony to Llandeilo's importance and indeed prestige as an early ecclesiastical centre.

Towards the end of the ninth century, the importance of Llandeilo as a spiritual centre had started to decline and the Gospel Book of St Teilo was removed to Lichfield where it became commonly known as the Lichfield Gospels and Book of Saint Chad. The Bishops of Lichfield still use this manuscript to swear allegiance to the Crown.

Dinefwr Castle (anglicized as Dynevor) is a spectacular Welsh castle overlooking the River Tywi near the town. It lies on a ridge on the northern bank of the Tywi, with a steep drop of several hundred feet to the river. Dinefwr was the chief seat of the kingdom of Deheubarth and the seat of Rhys ap Gruffydd, one of the early kings of Wales. The foundations of two Roman forts have been discovered in the grounds of the Dinefwr estate, which is in the custody of the National Trust. The estate of Golden Grove lies near the town, and further away, the impressive Carreg Cennen castle, another Welsh stronghold. The remains of Talley Abbey can be seen six miles away to the north of the town.

Medieval period

In the centuries that followed the Norman Conquest, the Bishop of Llandaff and Bishop of St David's both claimed Llandeilo for their respective diocese. By the early 12th century Llandeilo came under the patronage of the Bishopric of St David's, an ecclesiastic borough which became responsible for the affairs of the town including its development as an important medieval market centre to an extensive agricultural hinterland. Until the middle of the 20th century, a fair called St Teilo's Fair which had been authorised initially by Edward I in 1290 was held annually in the churchyard. Some of the agricultural produce and other goods offered for sale are recorded to have been displayed on the tombstones. Today the fair has been replaced by a small farmers' market, held fortnightly in the same place.

1987 rail disaster

In the Great Storm of 1987, the floods were so severe that the River Tywi (Towy) overwhelmed the railway bridge crossing the river near Llandeilo. A schoolboy and 3 other people were drowned when the 05:27 train from Swansea to Shrewsbury crashed while crossing the bridge and the bridge collapsed dropping the train into the river.


*Llandeilo hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1996.
*Llandeilo also hosted the 2008 World Sheepdog Trials.
*Near Llandeilo, at Pant-y-llyn, is Great Britain's only known turlough (or ephemeral lake).
*Llandeilo is twinned with Le Conquet in Brittany.
*Llandeilo RFC was one of the founding clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union.
*Llandeilo AFC are a football (soccer) club currently playing in the Carmarthenshire League
*Llandeilo is the birthplace of Stefan Cush - vocalist and guitarist of folk punk band The Men They Couldn't Hang.
*Llandeilo was the birthplace of the Tomos Watkins brewery.
*At one time Llandeilo produced its own 'Llandeilo Style' banknotes, and this is recorded on a blue plaque on the wall of the building which used to house the Bank of the Black Ox.

External links

* [http://www.llandeilo.org/ Comprehensive history of Llandeilo]
* [http://www.llandeilo.gov.uk/ Llandeilo town council]
* [http://www.llandeilo.net/ Virtual Llandeilo]
* [http://www.llandeilo-info.co.uk/ Llandeilo info]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=2675898 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Llandeilo and surrounding area]

Also see

*Dinefwr Castle
*List of National Trust properties in Wales

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Llandeilo — La Stryd Caerfyrddin de Llandeilo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LLANDEILO — ou LLANDEILIE Étage de l’Ordovicien, ce terme a été introduit en 1835 par R. I. Murchison pour désigner les grès et les schistes à Asaphus buchi et Asaphus tyrannus de la région de Llandeilo (pays de Galles). Depuis sa définition, cet étage a… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Llandeilo —   [læn daɪləʊ], Landeilium, Llandeilien [ ljɛ̃], Geologie: Stufe des Ordoviziums …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Llandeilo — Original name in latin Llandeilo Name in other language Llandeilo, Llandilo State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 51.88459 latitude 3.99154 altitude 59 Population 1750 Date 2011 03 03 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • llandeilo — lanˈdī(ˌ)lō adjective Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: from Llandeilo, subdivision of the European Ordovician, from Llandeilo, So. Wales : of or relating to a subdivision of the European Ordovician see geologic time table …   Useful english dictionary

  • Llandeilo — Llan|dei|lo [læn dailou] das; [s] <nach der gleichnamigen Stadt in Wales> Stufe des ↑Ordoviziums (Geol.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • llandeilo — llan·dei·lo …   English syllables

  • Llandeilo group — Llan*dei lo group (Geol.) A series of strata in the lower Silurian formations of Great Britain; so named from Llandeilo in Southern Wales. See Chart of {Geology}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Llandeilo RFC — Rugby team teamname = Llandeilo RFC fullname = Llandeilo Rugby Football Club nickname = location = Llandeilo, Wales country founded = 1871 ground = Cae William capacity = president = coach = league = WRU Division Four West season = 2007 08… …   Wikipedia

  • Llandeilo Group — In geology, the Llandeilo Group is the middle subdivision of the British Ordovician rocks. It was first described and named by Sir R. I. Murchison from the neighborhood of Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire. In the type area it consists of a series of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”