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Castell Flemish



Archaeologia Cambrensis for 1889 has a translation of the 12th century confirmation charter of Strata Florida abbey. It mentions 'the Grange which is called Castell y Flemmis', so the name is clearly an old one. The c19th notes offer an explanation for the name: "a considerable encampment, supposed to have been formerly thrown up and occupied by the Flemings of Pembrokeshire". Maybe that theory about the name draws onGiraldus Cambrensis's report of people from Flanders being settled in Wales.

Baring-Gould mentions another name in his 'Lives of the British Saints': Vuarth Caraun / Buarth Caron - meaning Caron's cattle-fold. He says "at" Castell Fflemish, near Tregaron. But what else round here would act as a good cattle-fold? It must surely refer to the fort?

Caron is the patron of nearby Tregaron (Plwyf Caron).If you wanted, you could see mixed up in the story a barrow and a christianised site?
The local tradition, still curent, varies - that he was a prince, a brave chieftain, or a bishop - but it agrees in saying he was buried where the church tower now stands, and that over his grave a large mound was raised. We have here evidently traditions of two distinct persons, a chieftain and an ecclesiastic, who have become mixed up in the popular mind.
Back in Tregaron on the other side of the Teifi, there was and is his well:
His Holy Well there, Ffynnon Garon, was at Eastertide, in days gone by, a centre of great attraction for the young of both sexes. On Easter Eve crowds of children resorted thither, each one bringing a small mug or cup and a quantity of brown sugar, and drank copious draughts of the water sweetened with sugar. On Easter Day, or Low Sunday, the swains met their sweethearts at the spot, and made them gifts of white bread (bara can), which they ate, washing it down with the crystal spring water in token of affection.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd May 2013ce
Edited 2nd May 2013ce

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