Drefach developed rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th century. Older mills were rebuilt and new ones founded. With prosperity came new houses, both for workers and mill owners (Meiros Hall), a new Baptist Chapel, the Red Lion Hotel. A rich social and cultural life developed. If you look carefully, you will still see traces of the older Drefach in the cottages where hand loom weavers once lived - and worked.
Untouched by later developments and testimony to a long nonconformist tradition was the Unitarian Capel Pen-Rhiw on the fringes of Drefach. Founded in 1777, it was removed to St Fagan's Folk Museum in 1953 as a perfect example of early nonconformist architecture and interior. One of the gravestones commemorates Mary Hannah Thomas, Glanbargod who lost her life in the sinking of the Lusitania dated 7-5-1915.
Just a few miles to the north of Drefach lies a different world. Travellers were admiring the picturesque Teifi valley as early as the 18th century. Many of the local gentry built their mansions on the sides of the valley. The mansion at Llysnewydd near here is now gone, but the park remains and so does the woodland in the Henllan Gorge, said to have been planted by the Lewes family of Llysnewydd. Dol-Haidd Mansion still stands and can be seen from the road.