Press Releases 2014-2015

Museum Celebrates Lampeter’s Rich History

13.05.2014

A museum celebrating Lampeter’s history through the ages will be opened on Friday, 16th May at 3pm on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David campus in the town.

The Lampeter Museum is a collaboration between Hanes Llambed and the University  and has been funded through Cynnal y Cardi, via the EU funded Rural Development Plan for Wales. Cynnal y Cardi provided the vital funding for capital works of £35,000 and the University has donated the space  that has enabled Hanes Llambed to fulfil their ambition of establishing a museum in the town.

The Museum, which is housed within the former Porter’s Lodge is located at the main gates of the University, will be open to the public from Saturday, May 17th onwards. 

Featuring a collection of local artefacts, the first main exhibition will be a collection of items commemorating Lampeter’s links with the First World War and in particular in 1914.  Although Lampeter was hunderds of miles away from the trenches of Northern France, the town’s association with the Great War was quite significant.  A squadron of the Pembroke Yeomanry, which later became part of the Welsh Guards, were based in Lampeter before being dispatched to Egypt and then Palestine.  This important period in the social history of Lampeter will be marked with items donated by local people or those with close links to the town.  The exhibition will also feature memories and items from local people including Evan Harries, Arthur Lloyd Jones and Watkin Evan Jones.

A range of items will be exhibited at the Museum charting the development of Lampeter as a town and noting its cultural and agricultural significance as well as celebrating its prolific heritage. It will also be an important centre for the area’s schools and children, giving young people the opportunity to explore their own background and their rich cultural inheritance.

In addition to local artefacts the museum will house a display charting the long history of the College, from its inception back in 1804 as a bold idea by the Bishop of St David’s, through to present times.  The Museum will give local people and visitors the chance to learn more about the University and its unique history as the oldest degree awarding University in England and Wales, outside of Oxford and Cambridge.

Important events will be also marked in the Museum, including the history of the Lampeter Eisteddfod – Eisteddfod Rhys Thomas James Pantyfedwen; the commomration of  thirty years since the National Eisteddfod last visited Lampeter and the contribution of local people, including Jac Oliver, y Bardd Farbwr (the Barber bard) to the cultural vibrancy of the town.

For over forty years, Selwyn Walters, Chair of Hanes Llambed, an organisation that boasts a membership of 90 enthusiasts, has dreamt of opening a museum in the town and finally, that dream isabout to become a reality.

“A town of the stature and importance of Lampeter has always needed a dedicated museum to celebrate its heritage and history, and we are delighted that this has at last come into being,” says Selwyn Walters.

“We are most grateful to the University for allowing us to use the Old Porters Lodge as our venue because it is ideally situated in the centre of town. We hope that this location will help to add to the attractions of the town and enhance the visitor experience. A tourist point will be situated within the building to help with this objective.

“We are also most grateful to the Cynnal y Cardi project which funded the University to make the alterations necessary to house our museum. This is indeed a dream come true and we hope to serve the community for many years to come.”

As well as being an exciting time for the members of Hanes Llambed, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is also looking forward to housing the Museum on its Lampeter Campus.

Being the home of the University’s Humanities Faculty and offering courses in subjects such as History; Archaeology; Classics; Heritage Studies and Heritage with Museum and Archives; the Museum will be a welcome and fitting addition to the campus.

“The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to be working with Hanes Llambed on this exciting venture.  Students from the University are being encouraged to assist and in turn gain valuable experience through working with the volunteers to curate the exhibitions,” says Dr Jeremy Smith, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

“Having been a part of the town since 1822 it’s great that the University will now become home to a centre that celebrates Lampeter’s history, its people and its heritage.

“We are pleased to be a part of this worthwhile project and look forward to working with Hanes Llambed to ensure that the Museum succeeds as an important resource for both the town and its visitors,” he adds.

The Lampeter Campus is already home to the Roderic Bowen Archives and Library which features special collections that have been acquired over the last two-hundred years.  One of the most fascinating pieces – the 1822 Royal Charter signed by King George IV which in turn, enabled the University to be established – will be on show in the new Museum during the opening weekend. 

Peter Hopkins, Curator of the Roderic Bowen Archives and Library says, “In addition to our collection of rare books and medieval and post-medieval manuscripts – one of the finest collections of its type in Wales  - the Roderic Bowen Research Centre is home to a fascinating archive of photographs, deeds and other documents that tell the story of the University from its earliest beginnings in 1804 right up to the opening of Lampeter’s new museum in the College’s former Porter’s Lodge.

“The Roderic Bowen Archive is a remarkable treasure trove and witness to the contribution of Lampeter to Wales and the wider world and we intend to tell some of its fascinating history in the new museum.”

Cllr Elsie Dafis, Mayor of Lampeter will oficially open Lampeter Museum on Friday, May 16th before it opens to the public on Saturday, May 17th.

Note to Editor

  1. Cynnal y Cardi is an axis 4 LEADER project funded by the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007 - 2013. This in turn has been funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

For more information please contact Siân-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / sian-elin.davies@tsd.uwtsd.ac.uk