Llanddowror can be found 2 miles south west of St Clears in the county of Carmarthenshire, South West Wales. Within the village are the ruins of St Clears castle, and just 4 miles away on the banks of the Taf is the historic Laugharne Castle.
The Dylan Thomas Boathouse, the home of Wales' most famous poet, sits close to the castle. But the village itself is most famous for being the starting place of Griffith Jones's schools.
Worried about the amount of illiterate people in Wales, Jones began a system of Circulating Schools in order to teach parishioners how to read their Bibles. Trained teachers went from one parish to the other and often taught in the churches, but convenient buildings were used when they were not allowed inside the places of worship. Once the illiterate could read their bibles, the teachers moved on to another parish.
Pupils ranged in age from 6 to 70, and even the blind were taught. From the time the system began to his death in 1761, Griffith Jones had successfully set up 210 schools with 8,023 pupils. Over the years he met almost every leader of the Methodist movement, who were pleased with his work. At the time of his death, one author wrote that “the whole countryside mourned this ambassador of God.”