Lampeter (Welsh: Llanbedr Pont Steffan) is a busy market town in the Teifi Valley, Ceredigion, West Wales. Walkers enjoy the splendid countryside in the Lampeter area - and anglers enjoy the excellent fishing on the river Teifi. But the town is probably best known as home to the oldest University in Wales. Saint David's University College underlines the long history of learning and culture within Lampeter and indeed the Ceredigion region.
Architecturally the town is mostly Georgian and Victorian in character with much of the town life centring on the University College. The historic importance of the college can be measured by its close proximity to the castle, with the college quadrangle abutting the castle moat. In the 21st century, Lampeter is often hailed as the centre of the organic food trade and each summer celebrates the area's wealth of local produce with an annual Food Festival. Sixty food and drink stalls offer plenty of opportunities for sampling and buying the quality locally produced foods.
The Romans once mined for gold near Lampeter, some 8 miles away at Pumpsaint. The National Trust now manages the site of the old gold mine and visitors may obtain a first hand glimpse of the conditions in which gold miners worked in those bygone times. Originally a Welsh settlement the town was colonised by the Anglo-Normans with the building of Lampeter Castle. The town and castle were fought over for many years with the Welsh eventually coming out on top.
In the 18th Century, Lampeter was an important gathering place for the Drovers. Drovers gathered huge herds of livestock to be walked all the way to London and the markets of England. They established some of Wales' oldest banking institutions - all of which have now been assimilated into UK banks - but the sign of the rearing horse maintained by Lloyds Bank remains to remind present generations of these merchants of long ago as the horse is, indeed, a Welsh mountain pony.