Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
St Clear's, Carmarthenshire. In Welsh this is called Sancler.
It is a township 8 miles West of Carmarthen, with a station on the main railway line to Fishguard harbour and the West. It is also on the A40 road. St Clear's can claim to be a town rather than a large village, since it was once granted a charter of incorporation. In the main street, beside the bridge across the Cynin river, is the war memorial, with a mosaic set up to the memory of Group Captain Ira Jones, a Welsh flying ace in the First World War. The most interesting part of St Clear's lies on the road that leads Out to Laugharne. Here is the church, originally the church of the Cluniac priory founded by the first Norman Lord of St Clear's as a cell of St Martin-des-Champs. The only other Cluniac house in Wales was at Malpas in Monmouthshire. The priory was never important. In 1441 it was held by the Archbishop of Canterbury, among others, on payment of a red rose in midsummer. There are no remains of the priory except some grass-covered mounds, but the church is worth study. It has the usual massive military-type tower, so common in South-West Wales, but its chief surprise is a fine Norman chancel arch with rich carvings, rare in any part of the country. Near the lych-gate in the churchyard are the remains of a cross. There is nothing left of the small castle except the castle mound.
The St Clear's district was one of the centres of discontent during the Rebecca Riots that convulsed rural Wales in the 1840s and led to the reform of the toll-gate system of road maintenance.
About 1½ miles East, on the main road, is Llanfihangel Abercywyn, with a modern church at the roadside. The l3th century church was abandoned in 1848, and the Norman font removed to the new church. The old church is roofless and buried in ivy near the banks of the Taf. There are some roughly carved slabs in the churchyard, popularly but erroneously believed to be the graves of pilgrims to St David's: hence the local name the Pilgrim Church. It is also believed that, if the graves are left undisturbed, the parish will always be free from snakes.
Llanddowror, some 2 miles South West of St Clears, is famous as the centre of the “circulating” schools of education in the Nonconformist cause begun by the Rev. Griffith Jones in 1730 under the patronage of Sir John Philipps of Picton Castle, Haverfordwest, whose sister he married. Although it was not the first, it was the first to defy successfully the legislation that in effect outlawed Nonconformity and, with it, the Welsh language in the 18th century.
Nearby towns: Carmarthen, Laugharne, Narberth, Newcastle Emlyn, Saundersfoot, Whitland
Nearby villages: Abernant, Amroth, Blaenwaun, Crunwear, Cwmfelin Boeth, Cynwyl Elfed, Ferryside, Gelliwen, Henllan Amgoed, Llanboidy, Llandowror, Llanfallteg, Llangain, Llanglydwen, Llangynin, Llansadurnen, Llansteffan, Llanteg, Llanwinio, Llanybri, Login, Marros, Meidrim, Merthyr, Newchurch, Pendine, Saint Ishmael, Talog, Tavernspite
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation