Strata Florida / Caron-Uwch-Clawdd


See Kain Maps2 to identify the area of this chapelry

"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;

Rhosgelligron Baptist Schoolroom

  • Built in 1906 as a zinc building attached to Carmel Chapel . By 1997 the schoolroom had been demolished (1)

Cwmmoiro CM schoolroom, Strata Florida

Fflur CM Sunday School, Penygarn, Caron

Glan-yr-afon CM Sunday School, Caron


Description & 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

        See also under this section of the Tregaron page

        Strata Florida Abbey - on the Castle Wales site

        Strata Florida - history etc

        Various landscapes  - on the People's Collection Wales site

        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 / Caron-Uwch-Clawdd which are provided by:



        The transcription of the section for Strata Florida from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

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



        Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

        • Remains of Strata Florida Abbey , plans etc
        • Early postcard showing engraving dated 1741: Strata Florida Abbey from the west

        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 & 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

        Ink on paper drawing showing old house at Strata Florida.  - on the People's Collection Wales site



        Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

        You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN746658 (Lat/Lon: 52.276003, -3.839413), Strata Florida / Caron-Uwch-Clawdd which are provided by:


        Names, Geographical

        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;



        Social Life & 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