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Llanddewi Brefi

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Llanddewi Brefi




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Llanddewi Brefi is a small village in Ceredigion (Cardiganshire).

The village was founded in around AD 6. In the 6th century Saint David (Welsh: Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales, held the Synod of Brefi here and it has born his name since; "Llan" referring in Welsh place names to a church or holy place. The parish church is dedicated to Saint David and contains a modern statue of him.

Today the village is most famous for the similarity of its name to Llandewi Breffi - the fictional home of Daffyd Thomas, a character in the BBC comedy, Little Britain. The footage of the village in the comedy, however, is not shot in the real Llanddewi Brefi and, in fact, the locations used bear no resemblance to any part of the real village.

History and description
Llanddewi Brefi is one of the largest parishes in Wales. Its parish church 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 holds a collection of Norman crosses, some of the oldest religious artifacts in the United Kingdom. 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 Saint 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 shop. The village and the surrounding area are largely Welsh speaking and the local economy is dominated by sheep and dairy farming.

Little Britain
Llanddewi Brefi is now arguably more famous as the home of Daffyd Thomas, a character in the Little Britain comedy show, played by Matt Lucas (though in the show the village is actually called "Llandewi Breffi"). Daffyd is a homosexual man, who believes himself to be "the only gay in the village". However, in the show, Llanddewi Brefi appears to have a fairly large gay population, despite its small size, and many of its inhabitants are either gay or have had gay experiences. The fictional view of the village also sees a very tolerant attitude to homosexuality, with gay nights at the pub and lesbian pottery lessons on offer. Daffyd's encounters with homosexuality and reluctance to believe the acceptance and existence of other gay men and women form the background to the comedy sketches. However, inhabitants of the real village report that, as of 2004, there were no known homosexuals living there.

Daffyd however has been controversial for other reasons, particularly as it has been claimed he constitutes a stereotype, although this is probably intentional and meant as ironic as Lucas himself is gay.

There have been a number of attempts to steal road signs showing the village's name, since Little Britain has been broadcast.

 Youth Hostels in Llanddewi Brefi: Tyncornel Bunkhouse

 Pubs/Bars in Llanddewi Brefi:
 Foelallt Arms
       Llanddewi Brefi
       SY25 6RL
 01974 298306

 The New Inn
       Llanddewi Brefi
       SY25 6RS
 01974 298452

 B&B's/Guesthouses in Llanddewi Brefi:
       Llanddewi Brefi
       SY25 6NZ 
 01570 493269
 01570 493269

Little Britain Live Daffyd Sketch (Some adult content)

Llandewy-Brevi (Llan-Ddewi-Brefi) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
LLANDEWY-BREVI (LLAN-DDEWI-BREFI), a parish, in the union of Tr�garon, comprising the townships of Dothie-Camddwr, DothiePyscottwr, Godwidd, and Prisk with Carvan, in the Upper division, and the chapelries of Blaen-Penal and Gartheli, and the townships of Cugian, Gwynvil, and Llanio, in the Lower division, of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 8 miles (N. E. by N.) from Lampeter; and containing 2591 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the river Teivy and by the turnpike-road from Lampeter to Tr�garon, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. David. It is distinguished as the place where a memorable convocation of the fathers of the Christian Church was held in 519, for the suppression of the Pelagian heresy, then spreading rapidly through the principality. This synod, of which many marvellous particulars have been related by Giraldus Cambrensis, was presided over by St. David, to whom St. Dubricius, at that time Archbishop of Caerleon, who was present at the meeting, resigned his archiepiscopal see, thereupon retiring to Bardsey Isle, where he spent the remainder of his days in solitude and devotion. In 1073, a sanguinary battle was fought here between the forces of Gronw and Llewelyn, sons of Cadwgan ab Bleddyn, who had excited an insurrection to avenge the murder of their grandfather the late Prince of Powys, and the troops of Rhŷs ab Owain and Rhydderch ab Caradoc, Princes of South Wales, in which the former were victorious, and Rhydderch was slain. In making their attack upon the Princes of South Wales, the sons of Bleddyn crossed the river Camddwr by a ford still called Rhŷd-y-Meirch, or "the ford of the cavalry;" and on the western bank of that stream are the remains of a military work, called Castell, which was constructed by Rhŷs and Rhydderch on this occasion. A college was founded here in 1187, by Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, in honour of the patron saint of his cathedral, who had so ably confuted the Pelagian heresy at this place, in the year 519; the bishop also recommending it to the patronage of King Edward the Confessor. The establishment was for a precentor and twelve prebendaries; it was amply endowed, and continued to exist till the Dissolution, when its revenue was estimated at �40 per annum. A society formed of late years, for the promotion of Christian knowledge and Church union in the diocese of St. David's, contemplated the foundation of a college at this place, for the education of young men intended for the ministry in the Church of England; for which purpose they procured stone and timber for the erection of suitable buildings; but the plan was afterwards altered, and the object of the society was ultimately carried into effect at Lampeter.

The parish comprises the upper part of the Vale of Teivy, the banks of which river are ornamented with some pleasingly varied scenery; but on the north and east the lands are environed by hills of bleak and desolate appearance, and the surrounding country, consisting of high and barren mountains, wears a dreary aspect. The village, situated about a mile from the Teivy, consists of a few detached cottages, and is watered near its entrance by a small brook, called in Leland's time the Brevy. Fairs are held annually on May 7th, July 24th, October 9th, and November 13th. The living is a perpetual curacy, with that of Llanbadarn-Odwynne annexed, in the alternate patronage of the Earl of Lisburne and R. Price, Esq., the impropriators; net income, �146. The church, dedicated to St. David, and situated on an eminence, said to be the spot on which that saint stood while preaching against the Pelagian heresy, was built by Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, as the collegiate church of the establishment which that prelate founded here in 1187. Having suffered much from dilapidation, the edifice was repaired in 1848, by voluntary contributions; the Society for Building Churches subscribing �100, Her Majesty the Queen Dowager �20, and the Bishop of St. David's �20, in aid of the fund. It is a spacious and venerable structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a massive square tower, and contains about 350 sittings. In it is preserved a very large horn, called by the inhabitants of the place "Mat-Corn ŷch Davydd," and which is said to have been in the possession of the parishioners ever since the time of St. David. On a stone over the entrance to the chancel is a Latin inscription, which is noticed by Edward Llwyd in a communication to Bishop Gibson, and is as follows: HIC IACET IDNERT FILIVS I . . . . . . QVI OCCISVS FVIT PROPTER P . . . . . . SANCTI. Near the west end of the church is a curious old monument, termed by the natives of the place "David's Staff," on which he is said to have leaned whilst preaching in the synod; it is an upright stone, seven feet high, and about ten inches broad, bearing a mutilated inscription, now illegible. A similar stone, four feet five inches high, and one foot eight inches broad, inscribed only with a cross, serves as a gate-post at the western entrance into the churchyard; and at the eastern entrance is a third, three feet ten inches in height, and one foot two inches in breadth, with an illegible inscription. All these three monuments are supposed to have been raised in the early part of the sixth century. At Bettws-Leike is a separate living. There are six places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. An endowment of �8. 12. per annum is paid to the master of a Church school here; and there is a school at Bettws-Leike, erected with aid from the National Society, and by subscription. Of eight Sunday schools in the parish, two are in connexion with the Established Church, and the others with the Calvinistic body.


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