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Pontrhydfendigaid

Popntrhydfendigaid, The Bridge of the Blessed Ford is a village near Strata Florida. Taking its name from the bridge over the Teifi that is in the centre of the village. 

The village is the site of the Pontrhydfendigaid Pavilion, licensed to seat 1500 people with a capacity for 2900 people standing. That such a large pavilion should be situated in a relatively small village in rural Ceredigion needs some explanation.

Sir David James was born in London in 1887 where his family had a dairy business. The family returned to Pontrhydfendigaid where the young David was educated before returning to London in the early 1900s to run the family business. He branched out owning 13 cinemas in London, including the Palladium Palmers Green. He sold most of the cinemas in the 1930s and eventually retired in 1957. He was a noted benefactor of a number of charities promoting religious and cultural activities in Wales. An eisteddfod was established in Pontrhydfendigaid as an intermediate grade between local eisteddfodau and the National and the venue became popular for other activities. A pavilion was built unser the guidance of Sir David and was opened in 1967 shortly after his death. Over the years the building deteriorated and was destroyed by fire in 2000. A new company was formed to rebuild the pavilion and this was opened in 2006.

The Pavilion Pontrhydfendigaid

George Borrow describes his visit to Pontrhyfendigaid in 1854:

I entered a large village divided into two by the river, which here runs from east to west, but presently makes a turn. There was much mire in the street; immense swine lay in the mire, who turned up their snouts at me as I passed. Women in Welsh hats stood in the mire, along with men without any hats at all, but with short pipes in their mouths; they were talking together; as I passed, however, they held their tongues, the women leering contemptuously at me, the men glaring sullenly at me, and causing tobacco smoke curl in my face; on my taking off my hat, however and inquiring the way to the Monachlog, everybody was civil enough, and twenty voices told me the way the Monastery. I asked the name of the river:

“The Teivi, sir: the Teivi.”

“The name of the bridge?”

“Pony y Rhyd Fendigaid — the Bridge of the Blessed Ford, sir.”

I crossed the Bridge of the Blessed Ford

Pontrhydfendigaid

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