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Strata Florida

"CARON-UWCH-CLAWDD, or STRATA-FLORIDA, a chapelry in the parish of TRÊGARON, partly in the hundred of ILAR, and partly in the upper division of the hundred of PENARTH, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 6 miles (N. E.) from Trêgaron containing 732 inhabitants. Near the source of the river Teivy, in the vicinity of this place, a sanguinary battle was fought, in 1042, between Grufydd ab Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, and Hywel, Prince of South Wales, who, having been previously discomfited by Grufydd, was pursued hither, and, in this second action, was slain, together with a great part of his army. This place is distinguished as the site of a celebrated abbey for Cistercian monks, founded here in 1164, by Rhys ,son of Grufydd, the reigning prince of South Wales, under the name of' Strata Florida or, as it is called by the Welsh, Ystrad Flur......."
[From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]

Church History

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by I.G Jones, & D. Williams. UWP, Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants

  • No returns for this parish

      Parish entry for Strata Florida (otherwise Mynachlogfawr) from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

      • St Mary & St David
      • Incumbent and Curates; T Evans
      • Rural Deanery of Ultra Aeron
      • Acreage 25,098 ; Population 440

          St Mary - photograph on Dyfed FHS

            Bowen, E G. The monastic economy of the Cistercians at Strata Florida (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol I

            Davies, J R. Lon Lacs (NLW's site) (The probable route of the monks of Strata Florida Abbey to their fishery at Y Goredydd, Aberarth.) . Ceredigion, Vol III

            Jones, R O. Recent excavations at Strata Florida. & Strata Florida Abbey. Card. Antq. Soc. Trans., Vols XI & VIII

            Jones, R Osborne Strata Florida Abbey Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol 8 1931 Welsh Journals Online

            Kerslade, F C. Visit to the Cistercian Abbey at Strata Florida. Trans. Neath Antq. Soc., Vol V

            Pierce, T J. Strata Florida Abbey (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol I

            Powell, S M. Pilgrim routes to Strata Florida. Card. Antq. Soc. Trans., Vol VIII

            Robinson, David Martin and Colin Platt. Strata Florida Abbey. Cardiff, Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments (1992) [ISBN 0948329602 m]

            Strata Florida Abbey, Cardiganshire; its foundation, history and fortunes, together with the Charters and documents connected with it ... Reprinted from the Archaeologia Cambrensis. London, Manchester printed, 1848.

            Williams, David H. The seals of Strata Florida (NLW's site) Ceredigion XIV

            Williams, S R. Cistercian Abbey of Strata Florida. 1889

            Williams, Stephen W. On further excavations at Strata Florida Abbey. Arch Camb., 1889 & Who was the founder of Strata Florida ? Arch Camb. 1889

            Willis-Bund, J W. Who was the founder of Strata Florida ? Arch Camb, 1889

            Church Records

            See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

            Parish Register;
            Baptisms 1750-1873. Marriages 1750-1971. Burials 1750-65, 1783-1940 NLW/Cer.RO
            Copy ts PR M 1750-1837 with index, ts PR CMB 1750-1812 NLW/Cer.RO
            Bishops Transcripts;
            1811-13, 1823, 1825-35, 1837-51, 1853-60, 1864-5, 1867-72, 1874-5, 1877-78, 1885-99, 1901-2 NLW

            See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

            I.G.I; Baptisms 1811-74

            Nonconformist Chapels;

            Cwmmoiro CM schoolroom, Strata Florida

            Fflur CM Sunday School, Penygarn, Caron

            Glan-yr-afon CM Sunday School, Caron

                  Description and Travel

                  The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., by Jones, I.G. & Williams, D. UWP, Cardiff, 1976. These statistics for this parish or chapelry are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

                  • Population 405 males, 455 females, total 860

                      Places, villages, farms etc within Strata Florida parish as shown on the online parish map from the CD of Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Gareth Hicks)

                      • Caron Uwch Clawdd (37); Afon Claerddu; Afon Fflur; Afon Mwyro; Afon Towy; Banc y Llyn; Berthgoed; Blaen-Glasffrwd; Blaen Gorphen; Bron-mwyn; Bryngwyn Bach; Bryn-hope; Bryn Mawr (2); Bryn-y-Crofftau; Bryn Eithinog; Bryniau Picca; Bwlch Esgair-gelli; Bwlch-y-ddwyallt; Camddwr; Carn Fflur; Cefn Brwynog; Cefn Cerig; Cefn Isaf; Cefn y Cnwc; Cnuach; Craig y Fron-goch; Craig-yr-Hasdre?; Craigen Ddu; Creigiau Coed; Crofftau; Crug Gynon; Crugnant (river); Dibyn Du; Dol-beudiau; Dol-yr-ychain; Esgair Ambor; Esgair Ganol; Esgair Gelli; Esgair Gerwyn; Esgair Gors; Esgair Hirnant; Esgair Llyn-du; Esgair Saeson; Esgair Wen; Fedw Lwyd; Fron-goch; Ffrwd-ar-Gamddwr; Gamallt; Gareg-lwyd; Garn Gron; Gilfach-y-dwn-fawr; Gors Goch Glan Teifi; Hafod-rhyd; Hirnant; Llethr Brith; Llyn Crugnant; Llyn Du; Llyn Egnant; Llyn Gorast; Llyn Gynon; Llyn Hir; Llyn Teifi; Llyn y Gorlan; Maes-elwad; Moel prysgau?; Nant Cwm-du; Nant Egnant; Nant Gwinau; Nant y Bont; Nant y Gerwyn; Nant y Maen; Old Abbey Fm.; Old Shafts; Pant-y-fedwen; Pen Llanerch; Pen-llyn; Pen-y-Bwlch; Pen-y-Maen-Berthgoed; Pontrhydfendigaid; Rhos Gelli gron; Source of Towy; Strata Florida abbey; Talwrn; Towy Fechan; Troed-y-rhiw; Ty'n-y-cwm;

                            See also under this section of the Tregaron page

                            Description of the parish of Strata Florida from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

                            Kelly's Directory South Wales 1910

                            Strata Florida Abbey - on the Castle Wales site

                            Strata Florida - history etc

                            Aerial photograph of Strata Florida Abbey c 1995 (and others) - on the People's Collection Wales site

                            Powell, S M Pilgrim routes to Strata Florida Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol 8 1931 Welsh Journals Online

                            You can see pictures of Strata Florida which are provided by:

                            Historical Geography

                            You can see the administrative areas in which Strata Florida has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

                            Ask for a calculation of the distance from Strata Florida (or Caron-uwch-Clawdd) to another place.

                            History

                            Anon. First county gathering at Strata Florida. Card. Antq. Soc. Trans.,Vol I . Also Second gathering, same source/vol

                            Jones, R Osborne Recent excavations at Strata Florida Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol 11 1936 Welsh Journals Online

                            Leighton, D K and D M Metcalfe. A cairn cemetery on Esgair Gerwyn, Ceredigion (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol VIII

                            Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush.(1783-1848) The History and Antiquities of the county of Cardigan. Collected from the few remaining documents which have escaped the ravages of time, as well as from actual observation. Longman: London ,1810. The history and antiquities of the County of Cardigan ... to which are now added a parliamentary history, list of High Sheriffs, some notes on the present county families, &c., &c. repr. Brecon: 1907. This 1907 print has now been reprinted. The section relating to this parish is on pages 243/49; under Ystradflur.

                            Land and Property

                            Martin, Shirley A. The Valuation Office Property Survey, 1910-1915 (also known as the Lloyd George Survey) for Tregaron and Strata Florida. Cardiganshire FHS journal, vol 4/3 Oct 2005

                            Social life and Customs

                            The Hendregadredd Manuscript. The National Library of Wales 'Treasures' series. The manuscript is the earliest witness of the works of the Gogynfeirdd, the Welsh court poets who were active from the early twelfth century until the fourteenth century, and was probably copied at the Cistercian abbey of Strata Florida in Ceredigion

                            Cule, John. Some Early Hospitals in Wales and the Border. National Library of Wales journal. 1977, Winter Volume XX/2. Here is an extract relating to this parish;
                            "The great Cistercian abbey of Strata Florida (Ystrad Fflur) near Pontrhydfendigaid in Cardiganshire was founded by Henry the Second in 1164. Set in desolate splendour amongst the Cambrian Mountains, not far from the source of the River Teifi, it was admirably placed to fulfil the ideals of self dependence and austerity of that order. The Cistercians in their resemblance to the earlier Welsh saints appealed much more to the native Welsh than did the black habited Benedictines, whose introduction was associated with the Norman conqueror, and whose cells and priories lay in the shadow of the great castles. Sometimes, as at Ewenni, they seemed almost as heavily fortified. The early Cistercians had entered under a similar Norman cloud via Tintern (1131), Margam (1147), Neath (1147) and Basingwerk (1147). As a result, these never had that sympathy of the population won by the later wave of White Monks, who landed to found Whitland abbey in west Wales in 1140, and whose daughter houses included Strata Florida (1164), Strata Marcella (1170) and Cwm-Hir (1176). They and their own daughter houses were liberally endowed, even enjoying the patronage of the native princes.
                            The lonely house of Strata Florida played an important part in the chronicling of the history of Wales, continuing the record of Brut y Tywysogyon and Annales Cambriae, although the latter unfortunately has not survived in its original form. In its situation, care of the aged and sick brethren was a necessity as well as a Christian duty. There were also lepers to support. By the time of Leland's visit, some short time before 1540, he found 'the Fratry and Infirmatori be now mere ruines'.
                            The Firmar House of Strata Florida received mention in 1291.After its destruction it may be that Ysbyty Ystrad Meurig, some two miles distant, took over its functions."

                            This page has been partly compiled from material previously published in their journal
                            by kind permission of Cardiganshire Family History Society