22. St. Dogmaels, Llandudoch
A few hundred metres downstream from Cardigan, St. Dogmaels sits on the opposite bank at a crook in the estuary. It is traditionally a fishing village and boats anchor here in the wide tidal stretches of the Teifi.
A religious community was founded in St.Dogmaels in the early 12 th century by monks from the abbey of Tiron in northern France. The site was given abbey status in the year 1120 at a time when over twenty monks were resident here. The abbey went through several stages of building before its dissolution in 1536, but there are still some elements remaining from the 12 th and 13 th centuries (notably the almost full-height north wall of the church). Much of what remains is at foundation level, but the plan is still clearly visible, as are some of the red floor tiles, which probably date from the 15 th century.
The coach house adjacent to the ruins is currently (January 2008) being restored to be used as a visitor centre to the site. More information on the abbey and St. Dogmaels is available from the town’s web-page: www.stdogmaels.org
Just across the road from the abbey ruins Y Felin is a water-powered corn mill (one of only two in Wales) with machinery dating from 1820. The miller offers guided tours and sells flour, bread and cakes. There is a café next door with a view of the turning wheel.
St. Dogmaels also has a small art gallery on the High Street.
1) A footpath with good views of the estuary begins at the river behind Jewsons (with another access point from the High Street car park) and extends upsteam to Cardigan and downstream a few hundred metres to the northern edge of St. Dogmaels. The shorter path downstream leads to a grassy park with picnic benches and good views of the river (this is behind the Teifi Netpool Inn). Sign-posts in the park point the way (only a few metres) to the Blessing Stone down at the water’s edge, from which the abbot of the abbey would bless the fishing fleet each season. (There is wheelchair access for a short stretch of the riverside path – a ramp leads down from the High Street car park).
2) For more extensive walking around the estuary the best guide is that available free of charge from Cardigan Tourist information – Walking the Teifi Estuary. Detailed descriptions of walks from this booklet can also be down loaded from:
St. Dogmaels Abbey grid ref.: SN163458
OS Maps: Explorer 198 (Cardigan and New Quay); Explorer OL35 ( North Pembrokeshire)
Bus: The 407 Cardigan Town service goes as far as Poppit sands via St. Dogmaels. For times see www.ceredigion.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=483
Parking: High Street car park. Free of charge.
Facilities: shop, toilets, picnic benches, café, fish and chip shop.