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St Clears

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St Clears

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St Clears (Welsh: Sanclr) is a small town on the River Taf in Carmarthenshire, west Wales. According to the 2001 UK census, it has a population of 2,820 people.

The Norman St Clears Castle was constructed, the castle mound can still be seen, and in the twelfth century the town grew around it. Below the castle there was a port on the River Taf, which could take ships of up to 500 tons according to a plaque on the site.

The castle held out against Owain Glyndwr, and much later the town is famous for the destruction of one of its toll gates in the Rebecca Riots.

The building of the railway was responsible for the decline of many of the small ports along the Bristol Channel coast, and St Clears was no exception. The railway passed about 2 miles north of the castle, and new building at the North end of the high street spread eastwards along the main A40 road and then northwards again to the station. The A40 section became known as Pentre Road, and is now the main commercial centre of the town, which is now bypassed by a dual carriageway which carries the main A40 traffic.

The town's Cattle market was important until its recent closure, but the town still has a large agricultural cooperative store. The town has also hosted an important oil distribution centre and milk processing plant. Now however smaller industrial units provide the main local employment. The town boasts a good variety of local shops including two prize winning butchers, and two craft centres. There are also several pubs some of which are notable for their food.

The surrounding countryside is mainly rolling grassland consisting of moderate sized fields with well kept hedges. The main agricultural enterprise is dairying, but sheep and beef are very important as well. The soils are deep and productive and will grow good crops of potatoes and cereals, and the climate allows fruit growing as well. Although most of the land is farmed commercially the area is a haven for wildlife - probably a reflection of the fact that most of the land is still farmed by families who take a pride in their farms, and like to see the job well done! For holiday makers St Clears has a range of Bed and Breakfast, self catering accommodation and campsites. It is within an hour's drive of no less then three National Parks (Brecon Beacons, Gower and Pembroke Coast) and also the three main Irish ferry ports (Fishguard, Pembroke Dock, and Swansea).


 Rugby in St Clears: St Clears RFC


 Pubs/Bars in St Clears:
 Black Lion Hotel
       Pentre Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AA
 01994 231700

 The Blue Boar Inn
 2 Island Terrace
       Pentre Rd
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AB
 01994 230075

 Butchers Arms
       High Street
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4ED
 01994 231552

 The Corvus Inn
       Station Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4BG
 01994 230965

 Santa Clara Inn
       Bridge Street
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4EE
 01994 231251

 The Parciau Bach Inn
       St. Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4LG
 0199 4230070

 The White Lion Inn
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AT
 01994 230370


 Hotels in St Clears:
 Picton House
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4HJ
 01994 230383

 Travelodge
       A40/A4066 Roundabout
       Tenby Road
       Carmarthen
       SA33 4JN
 0870 1911553


 B&B's/Guesthouses in St Clears:
 Forge Restaurant & Lodge
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA33 4NA 
 01994 230300
 01994 231577
 [email protected]
 http://www.theforgelodge.co.uk

 Ffynnonlwyd Farmhouse B&B
       Llangynin
       St Clears
       Carmarthenshire
       SA33 4LD 
 01994 448239
 01994 448693
 [email protected]
 http://freespace.virgin.net/haydn.lloyd

 The Old Board School Guest House
       High Street
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4DY
 01994 231572

 The Savoy Country Inn
       Tenby Road
       St Clears
       SA33 4JP
 01994 230664


 Restaurants in St Clears:
 Blue Boar
       2 Island Terrace
       Pentre Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AB
 01994 230075

 Forge
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4NA
 01994 230300

 The Old Rectory
       Old Rectory
       Llanddowror
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4HH
 01994 230030

 Savoy Country Inn
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4JP
 01994 230664


 Cafes in St Clears:
 Talents Coffee House
       Pentre Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AA
 01994 231800


 Take Aways in St Clears:
 Neil's Fish & Chips
       3 Island Terrace
       Pentre Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AB
 01994 230523

 Pizza Point
       Glanrhyd
       Pentre Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AA
 01994 231300

 St Clears Takeaway
       Pentre Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AA
 01994 230598


 Vets in St Clears:
 Alun Davies
       Minyffordd
       2 Corvus Terrace
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4LT
 01994 230220

 Market Hall Veterinary Group
       The Old Market Surgery
       Penpitch Hill
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4DY
 01994 230451


 Other in St Clears:
 Groveland (Theme Park)
       The Grove
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4AZ
 01994 231181

 Penlan Outdoor Activity Centre Ltd
       The Penlan Field & Study Centre
       Meidrim Road
       St Clears
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 4DW
 01994 230559


Clear's, St. (St. Clare's) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
CLEAR'S, ST. (ST. CLARE'S), a parish, in the Higher division of the hundred of Derllŷs, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, on the road from Carmarthen to Haverfordwest, 9 miles (W. by S.) from Carmarthen; containing 1167 inhabitants. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name from a pious lady, named Clara, who founded a church here in the fifth or sixth century, and, after being canonized, became its tutelar saint. Some, however, are of opinion that it owes its name to the assembly of the Welsh bards, which used to be held here, called in the Welsh language Clair; pointing out, in support of the hypothesis, a lofty tumulus as the place of meeting. Soon after the Norman invasion of this portion of the principality, a castle was erected here by some of the conquerors, the ruins of which are noticed by Leland, who wrote in the time of Henry VIII., but have since entirely disappeared. It is frequently mentioned in the Welsh annals, and was taken and partially demolished by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, in the year 1215; it afterwards shared the fate of nearly all the Welsh fortresses, until the struggle between the natives and the Norman settlers was decided by the conquest of Wales by Edward I. A small Cluniac priory, for a prior and two monks, was founded here before 1291, as a cell to the monastery of St. Martin de Campis at Paris: it was dissolved with the other alien priories, in the reign of Henry V., and its possessions were given by Henry VI. to the Warden and Fellows of All Souls' College, Oxford, to whom, together with two-thirds of the tithes of the parish, they still belong.

The town is situated at the confluence of the Guinning with the Tf, which discharge their united waters into the bay of Carmarthen, at the small town of Laugharne, a few miles to the south. It consists of one straggling street, nearly a mile in length, neither lighted nor paved, but well supplied with water, and contains many good dwelling-houses. Several respectable shops have been lately built; the old houses renovated, and other improvements made. The surrounding district is highly productive of corn and butter, which are here shipped for Bristol, Cardiff, Bridgwater, Southampton, and other ports; this trade at present affording constant employment to two vessels of fifty-five tons' burthen each: there are also eight small craft, each of about twenty-five tons' burthen, engaged in the coal, culm, and limestone trades between this place and Milford Haven; and there is a limited export trade in cheese and bark. The port is a creek within the limits of the port of Llanelly, and a new quay, 150 yards in extent, has been constructed, which affords increased facility for loading and unloading. The great South Wales railway will pass a little to the north of the town. St. Clear's is commonly reputed a markettown, but it has no market for the sale of provisions, &c.; Tuesdays and Fridays being here called the market-days, in consequence of the opening of the merchants' stores on those days for the reception of the staple commodities of the vicinity.

The place appears to be a borough by prescription, and is under the control of three portreeves, a recorder, a town-clerk, two common-attorneys, a crier, and an indefinite number of burgesses. Two principal courts leet are held for the borough every year, the one on the first Monday in May, and the other on the first Monday after Michaelmas-day, at the latter of which the portreeves and common-attorneys are appointed, from among the burgesses, by presentment of the jury. The recorder, town-clerk, and crier are chosen in a similar manner, but for life; and the freedom is also conferred solely by the jury, who present candidates to the portreeve to be sworn in. The duties and fees of the officers are slight: the portreeves hold the courts, superintend the property of the burgesses, and act as treasurers; the common-attorneys have the care of a wharf upon the river Tf, belonging to the corporation; and the crier has merely to act as such at the courts leet. The limits of the borough are not correctly known, though believed to be co-extensive with those of the parish; the perambulations of the authorities are therefore confined to those lands which belong to them, or from which they derive chief-rents, this, indeed, being all that is absolutely necessary. The property of the corporation consists partly of some quit-rents paid to them by certain burgesses, or their successors, who, having been favoured with liberty to occupy some waste lands on payment of a small acknowledgment, have built upon or inclosed them, still paying only the original sum; and partly of land which was assigned to the corporation in lieu of right of common, under an act for inclosing lands passed in the 47th of George III., and of which thirteen acres are let to yearly tenants at a rent of 15. 10., and the remainder upon lease at an annual sum of 11. The total income of the borough is about 45, which, after payment of some fees to the officers, is divided among the principal part of the resident burgesses. The county magistrates hold a court of petty-session once a month; the corporation, which was formerly of some note, once had its courts of session, and its gaol was standing about seventy years ago.

The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at 4. 17. 1., and endowed with 200 private benefaction, 200 royal bounty, and 600 parliamentary grant; present net income, 133; patron, J. Lewes Philipps, Esq. The impropriation belongs to the Warden and Fellows of All Souls' College, Oxford, whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of 185. 11. 4.; the vicar's tithes have been commuted for one of 92. 15. 8., and attached to the vicarage is a glebe of nine acres, valued at 11 a year. The church, which is situated on the bank of the Guinning, is an edifice of considerable antiquity. There are two places of worship for Independents, and one for Wesleyan Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them. A donation of 8 per annum to a schoolmaster, for educating a limited number of children, was made by Lady Mary Osburne, of Pencoed, in the parish; who also, by deed in 1719, gave lands now producing 16. 10. per annum, for distribution among the poor, and 10s. to the minister for preaching a sermon, which he delivers on the Sunday previously to the annual distribution on the first Tuesday in March. The tumulus mentioned as being considered the place of meeting of the bards is now called Banc-yBaily, and is stated also to have been the site of the castle; but it appears to be too small to have been occupied by the whole of that edifice, and is probably only the mount on which the keep stood. It was near St. Clear's that the lawless practices of the Rebecca Insurrection were first enacted.



 

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