skip to main content

Stori Fawr Dre-fach Felindre


This settlement has grown up around a road junction, where one of the roads out of the Drefach-Felindre valleys joined the main road down the Teifi Valley. The name (cagal means sheep dung) gives an earthy reminder of how important farming has always been here. Even at the height of prosperity at the end of the last century, many small mill owners and workers were also farmers or had small holdings. Much greater use was made then of local resources than today.

Pwll y Gwyddau on the road between Pentrecagal and Waungilwen was known as 'the clay pools' because people came from quite a wide area to dig out the clay to mix with coal dust to make culm balls (Welsh pele) for all the household's fires and kitchen range.

Information board at Pentrecagal
painting of different forms of transporting wool over time - from donkey's to trains to lorries

These roads have seen all the changes in the supply and marketing of the woollen industry's raw material - the fleeces - and the finished product - the bales of cloth - from the weaving shops and woollen factories. For all but the largest operators, the wool came from local suppliers and from Welsh mountain sheep.

Sometimes farmers took their fleeces directly to the mills. The larger factories dealt with fell-mongers. Small producers took their own cloth to markets and fairs all over south and west Wales. The larger factories sold to cloth merchants.

The biggest change in transport came when the Carmarthen to Lampeter railway opened in 1864, although the line between Pencader and Newcastle Emlyn, with its station nearby Henllan, didn't open until 1895. But even into the era of the motor-car, horse drawn transport remained and Pentrecagal's smithy did a busy trade.