River Teifi

The River Teifi (Welsh: Afon Teifi pronounced [ˈtəɪvɪ]) in Wales forms the boundary for most of its length between the counties of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, and for the final 3 miles (4.8 km) of its total length of 73 miles (117 km), the boundary between Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Its estuary is northwest of Cardigan.

River Teifi
Llyn Teifi - geograph.org.uk - 41773
Llyn Teifi, the source of the Teifi
River Teifi is located in Wales
River Teifi
Mouth of the Teifi shown within Wales
Native nameAfon Teifi
CountiesCeredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire
Physical characteristics
 - locationLlyn Teifi
 - coordinates52°17′30″N 3°47′24″W / 52.2918°N 3.7900°W
 - elevation455 m (1,493 ft)
 - location
Cardigan Bay
 - coordinates
52°06′11″N 4°41′20″W / 52.103°N 4.689°WCoordinates: 52°06′11″N 4°41′20″W / 52.103°N 4.689°W
 - elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length117 km (73 mi)[1]
Basin size1,008 km2 (389 sq mi)[3]
 - locationGlan Teifi[2]
 - average29.1 m3/s (1,030 cu ft/s)[2]
 - maximum373.6 m3/s (13,190 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 - leftTyweli, Cych
 - rightDulas, Clettwr, Ceri


The Teifi has its source in Llyn Teifi, one of several lakes known collectively as the Teifi Pools. These are situated towards the north of the county of Ceredigion; the source is in the Cambrian Mountains at 455m. This wide area of Mid-Wales, with a very sparse population, is part of what is sometimes called the "desert of Wales". The river flows past Strata Florida Abbey and then through Pontrhydfendigaid before reaching the main river valley floor. Here it passes through Cors Goch Glanteifi,[4] one of the great raised mires of Britain also known as Cors Caron or Tregaron Bog. From here the river descends through pastures and bogs forming meanders on farmland below. Several small tributaries join from the valley with gorges, rocky and tree-lined sections also in the area.

Over the next 30 miles (50 km), the Teifi meanders southwest in a gentle arc passing through Tregaron, Llanddewi Brefi, Cwmann, Lampeter, Llanybydder, Llandysul, Newcastle Emlyn, and Cenarth. The river is tidal below Llechryd, descending through the steep-sided Cilgerran Gorge to Cardigan. West of Cardigan and St Dogmaels, the river broadens into a wide estuary with Poppit Sands on its west bank and Gwbert on its east bank as it enters Cardigan Bay.

On the lower parts of the river the wildlife is rich. There is a large variety ranging from crowfoot river plants to Atlantic salmon as well as otters, wetland birds and multi fruited river moss. There have also been sightings of bottle-nosed dolphins where the river opens into the estuary.[5]

Afon Tywi at 120 km (75 mi) and Afon Teifi at 117 km (73 mi) are the longest rivers wholly in Wales.[6]

The river is susceptible to flooding and there were some heavy floods in 2007 and 2008. If the swollen river is backed up by a high tide, flooding can occur in Cardigan[7] and as far up river as Llechryd.[8] The most recent flooding was in December 2015.[9]

The principal tributaries of the Teifi (ordered from source to sea) are as follows: Afon Mwyro, Nant Glasffrwd, Afon Meurig, Afon Fflur, Camddwr Fach, Camddwr, Brennig, Nant Carfan, Afon Brefi, Nant Digonest, Nant Clywedog, Ffrwd Cynon, Nant Gou, Nant Dulas, Nant Hathren, Nant Eiddig, Nant y Gwragedd, Nant Dolgwm, Afon Granell, Afon Duar, Nant Hust, Nant Ceiliog, Nant Caradog, Nant Cwm-du, Nant Cledlyn, Nant Fylchog, Afon Clettwr, Nant Wern-macwydd, Gwenffrwd, Afon Cerdin, Afon Tyweli, Nant Merwydd, Hoffnant, Afon Gwr-fach, Afon Siedi, Camnant, Nant Bachnog, Nant Iago, Nant Bargod, Afon Cynllo, Afon Cwm-wern, Nant Halen, Afon Arad, Nant Sarah, Afon Ceri, Afon Nawmor, Afon Hirwaun, Afon Cych, Afon Eifed, Nant Arberth, Afon Morgenau, Afon Plysgog, Nant Rhyd-y-fuwch, Afon Piliau, Afon Mwldan, Nant Degwen, Nant-y-ferwig.

Geology and landscape

The Teifi and its tributaries are underlain by ancient Ordovician and Silurian mudstones which have been extensively glaciated during the ice ages. The resultant landform is one of gently rolling hills supporting a range of agriculture in which dairy and sheep farming dominate. Ceredigion had the reputation of supplying London with its milk in the 19th century. The landscapes of the Teifi valley are very attractive and the Teifi is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful rivers in Wales.

Teifi Pools, the source of the Teifi, are a series of small lakes left by past glacial activity. The lakes are upland and acid in nature. Some have been enlarged by damming and now provide a source of drinking water. The very extensive raised mire above Tregaron acts as a huge sponge at the head of the river and evens out extremes in flow.

Rapids and waterfalls are uncommon but the examples at Henllan and, especially at Cenarth, are noteworthy and have been extensively photographed and painted because of the beauty of the landscape. A dramatic painting of the falls was made by Frank Miles and is now at Nottingham City Museum. Miles's father inherited Cardigan Priory from his father, Philip John Miles, but lived in Nottinghamshire as Rector of Bingham.[10]

The gorge between Llechryd and Cilgerran has a special brooding quality. Few visitors stray into the gorge and the river winds its way almost silently between the densely wooded sides with their distinctive under-storey flora of wood rush.


Afon Teifi
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Area of SearchCeredigion
Grid referenceSN5153250832
InterestBiological and Geological
Area778.18 ha

Afon Teifi is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (or SSSI) in Ceredigion, Wales. It is protected by law and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since December 1997 in an attempt to protect rare or unique features or species within it.[11] The site has an area of 778.18 hectares and is managed by Natural Resources Wales. This SSSI has been notified as being of both geological and biological importance.


Afon Teifi a Cors Caron, Ceredigion
The river at Cors Caron

The catchment of the river is estimated to be 1,008 square kilometres (389 sq mi)[3] yielding an average flow at Glan Teifi, just upstream of Llechryd Bridge, of 29.126 m³/s.[2] The maximum recorded flow between 1959 and 2011 was 373.6 m³/s on 18 October 1987.[2] The average annual rainfall varies from 1,552 millimetres (61.1 in) in the upper catchment to 1,176 millimetres (46.3 in) in the lower catchment, which is higher than the average for United Kingdom at 1,101 millimetres (43.3 in).[12]

Culture and history

Coracles River Teifi
Coracles on the River Teifi, 1972.

The Teifi valley has been inhabited since pre-history. There are many remains of Iron Age and Stone age man including Cromlechs (burial chambers) and standing stones. The remains of a medieval abbey stand at Strata Florida with some excellent examples of encaustic tiles on the floors. The river flows near to the Lampeter campus of the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, its predecessor, the University of Wales, Lampeter (est. 1822) having been the oldest university established in Wales.

Between Cenarth and Cardigan, there is an ancient tradition of fishing and travel using coracles – very simple light-weight boats made of bent sticks covered with waterproofed hide or skins. These are paddled by a single oar used at the front of the craft which requires great skill. The principal use for coracles is for salmon fishing using nets. This form of fishing is now very tightly controlled and the right to fish in this way is passed down from father to son. There is also an age-old tradition of illegal salmon and sea-trout fishing in the lower Teifi. In 1188 Giraldus Cambrensis observed what is thought to have been the last colony of European beaver in England or Wales on the Teifi.


The Teifi Estuary - geograph.org.uk - 1547458
The estuary of the Teifi, between Poppit Sands and Gwbert


  1. ^ "River Teifi". Countryside Council for Wales. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "62001-Teifi at Glanteifi". The National River Flow Archive. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "First Water Resources Survey : Report", South West Wales River Authority, Published 1970, Page 41; Table 1
  4. ^ http://www.hanesybont.co.uk/ygorsgoch.htm
  5. ^ "River Teifi SAC". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  6. ^ Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Baines, Menna; Lynch, Peredur I., eds. (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. pp. 894 & 855. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
  7. ^ "30 homes flooded in Cardigan after "worst ever" flood". Carmarthen Journal. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Resident marooned in home after River Teifi bursts banks". BBC. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  9. ^ "This is the scene in Pembrokeshire as further flood warnings issued across Wales". Wales Online. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  10. ^ "BBC - Your paintings - Salmon Leap, Cenarth Falls, Cardiganshire". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Countryside Council for Wales website (Natural Resources Wales since 2013)". Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Climate tables UK 1961-90". Met Office. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Teifi Marshes, Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, Wales". first-nature.com.
  14. ^ "The Teifi Valley Railway in Ceredigion West Wales". walesrails.co.uk.
Afon Cych

Afon Cych (standard Welsh orthography: Afon Cuch) is a tributary of the River Teifi in south-west Wales. It is 13 km long, passes through a number of small settlements on the border between Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, and is significant in Welsh legend.

Beulah, Ceredigion

Beulah (Welsh: Bwla) is a small village, wider community and electoral ward located halfway between the market town of Newcastle Emlyn and the seaside resort of Aberporth in Ceredigion, Wales.

The wider community area of Beulah also covers the villages of Llandygwydd, Betws Ifan, Bryngwyn, Cwm Cou and the larger part of Cenarth, which it shares with Carmarthenshire across the River Teifi.

Capel Dewi, Llandysul

Capel Dewi is a small village in the county of Ceredigion, Wales. The village lies in the Clettwr Valley mostly on the eastern bank of the River Clettwr, a tributary of the River Teifi. Capel Dewi is part of the community of Llandysul along with the settlements of Horeb, Pont Sian, Pren-gwyn, Tregroes, Rhydowen and the village of Llandysul itself. The village is one of two settlements in Ceredigion called Capel Dewi, the other being the smaller Capel Dewi near Aberystwyth.

The village is home to several buildings of note, including the Rock Mill. Opened in 1890, the Rock Mill is a waterwheel powered woollen mill, the last commercial woollen mill remaining in Wales. Capel Dewi also has its own church, St David's Church, which gives the village its name. The church, which is in the centre of the village, was made a Grade II listed building in 1993.

Cardigan Island

Cardigan Island (Welsh: Ynys Aberteifi) is a small, uninhabited island lying north of Cardigan, in Ceredigion, south-west Wales. It reaches a height of 52 m (171 ft) a.s.l., and 38 acres in extent.

Lying in the estuary of the River Teifi, it is known for having a small colony of grey seals. It is within 200 metres of the Welsh coastline near Gwbert. It is owned and managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

The island was once the home of puffins and Manx shearwater. A guide book in the 1890s referred to the puffins as “Welsh parrots”. In 1924 Welsh writer and naturalist Ronald Lockley wrote that there were probably 25 to 30 pairs on the island. However, in 1934 the liner Herefordshire ran aground on the island in a storm, and rats made it ashore. Over a period of years they ate the eggs and chicks of nesting seabirds, and wiped out the island’s population of puffin and Manx shearwater, which have never returned.Today birds such as guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, shags, fulmars and a variety of sea-gulls all nest on the island. Bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals are also often seen in the sea around the island.


Cenarth (Welsh pronunciation) is a village and community in Carmarthenshire, on the border between Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, and close to the border with Pembrokeshire, Wales. It stands on the banks of the River Teifi, 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Cardigan and 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Newcastle Emlyn, and features the Cenarth Falls, a popular visitor attraction.


Cilgerran (previously Kilgerran or Cil-Garon) is a village, parish, community, and formerly an incorporated market town. It is situated on the south bank of the River Teifi in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Among Cilgerran's attractions are Cilgerran Castle and annual coracle races. Kilgerran Halt was a stop on the former Whitland and Cardigan Railway. There are a number of listed buildings, including the parish church.

Nearby are the hamlets of Llwyncelyn, Rhoshill, Cnwce, Pen-y-bryn, Carreg-wen and Pontrhydyceirt, and the villages of Llechryd and Boncath.

The Cilgerran Hundred derives its title from the former town, which was once the headquarters of the commote of Emlyn is Cuch (Emlyn below the River Cuch).


Cwmann is a small village in Wales near Lampeter, just on the Ceredigion border with Carmarthenshire. Cwmann is on the Carmarthenshire side of the border.

Cwmann is home to the Cwmanne Tavern.

Cwmann sits on the banks of the River Teifi (known in Welsh as "Afon Teifi").

Llanddewi Brefi

Llanddewi Brefi (Welsh pronunciation: [ɬanˈðɛwi ˈbrɛvi]) is a village, parish and community of approximately 500 people in Ceredigion, Wales.

In the sixth century, Saint David (in Welsh, Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales, held the Synod of Brefi here and it has borne his name ever since; "Llan" referring in Welsh place names to a church or holy place. Llanddewi Brefi (Welsh, meaning "Church of David on the [River] Brefi", the Brefi being a tributary of the River Teifi), is one of the largest parishes in Wales.


Llandysul is a small town and community in the county of Ceredigion, Wales. As a community it consists of the villages of Capel Dewi, Horeb, Pont Sian, Pren-gwyn, Tregroes, Rhydowen and the village of Llandysul itself. At the 2001 Census the community had a population of 1,484, reducing to 1,439 at the 2011 Census. Llandysul lies in the valley of the River Teifi and is visited for its fishing and canoeing. The wider community has a population of 2,732, as of 2011.

Llandysul is also known as the home of Gwasg Gomer, one of the most prominent publishers of Welsh-interest and Welsh language books in Wales. The town is twinned with Plogonnec (Plogoneg) in Brittany, France.


Llangeler (Welsh pronunciation) is a hamlet located in north Carmarthenshire, Wales. The name is believed to refer to St. Gelert. Llangeler parish covers a wide area including to the west, the textile village of Dre-fach Felindre and to the east, Pontyweli which adjoins Llandysul on the Carmarthenshire side of the River Teifi. The population of the parish was 3,222 at the Census of 2001, increasing to 3,427 at the 2011 census.The community is bordered by the communities of: Llanfihangel-ar-Arth; Cynwyl Elfed; Cenarth; and Newcastle Emlyn, all being in Carmarthenshire; and by Llandyfriog and Llandysul in Ceredigion.

Llangybi, Ceredigion

Llangybi is a village and parish in the south of Ceredigion, Wales. It is located on the A485 between Tregaron to the north and Lampeter to the south, a mile and a half north of the village of Betws Bledrws.

The River Dulas flows past the village and joins the River Teifi near Lampeter.

Llangybi is one of three villages in Wales named after Saint Cybi. The local church is also dedicated to Saint Cybi, which currently lies within the deanery of Lampeter of the diocese of Saint David's, and was at one time in the alternate patronage of the Earl of Lisburne and Lord Carrington.

Llangybi railway station was located on the Carmarthen to Abserystwyth line, closing in February 1965.

The Derry Ormond Tower is situated very prominently on a spur of hill between the two minor valleys of the Afon Denys and Nant Dyfel and overlooking the Dulas valley. It is said to have been built by local unemployed for the squire of Derry Ormond House. It is a grade II* structure but currently in poor condition with missing stairs.


Llanllwni is a village and community located in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The village is on the A485 road southwest of Llanybydder. To the south of the village lies the mountain, Mynydd Llanllwni.


Llechryd (Welsh pronunciation: [ɬɛxrɪd]) is a rural village on the A484 road approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) from Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales. Situated on the north bank of the tidal River Teifi, Llechryd is the first point upstream of Cardigan where crossing is possible. Most of the village has developed along the A484, with some estates branching off into the valley.

It is part of the Community of Llangoedmor.

Newcastle Emlyn

Newcastle Emlyn (Welsh: Castellnewydd Emlyn) is a town on the River Teifi, straddling the counties of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire in west Wales. It is also a community entirely within Carmarthenshire, bordered by those of Llangeler and Cenarth, both being in Carmarthenshire; and by Llandyfriog in Ceredigion. Adpar is the part of the town that lies on the Ceredigion side of the River Teifi. It was formerly called Trefhedyn and was an ancient Welsh borough in its own right.


Pontrhydfendigaid is a village in Ceredigion, Wales. It lies on the western flank of the Cambrian Mountains, and is located between Devil's Bridge and Tregaron. The village lies on the River Teifi, the source of which is just 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to east at Llyn Teifi.It is known for the ruins of the Cistercian Strata Florida Abbey, founded 1164, where Dafydd ap Gwilym is said to be buried and Llywelyn the Great held a council.

The station at Strata Florida was positioned to serve the village.

The village is home to an annual eisteddfod and a Celtic Music Society is based at the village's Black Lion Hotel.

The village was the birthplace and home of Caradog Jones, the first Welshman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

It is in the Community of Ystrad Fflur.

River Brenig

The River Brenig (Afon Brenig) is a tributary river of the River Teifi and runs through the market town of Tregaron in Ceredigion, Wales. It is formed from the confluence of the Afon Groes and Afon Berwyn in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains.

River Dulas

The River Dulas (Welsh: Afon Dulas) is a tributary of the River Teifi and has its source near the village of Llangybi, Ceredigion, Wales. Its confluence with the Teifi is near Lampeter.In June 2017 effluent from an anaerobic digestion plant in Lampeter was discharged into the Dulas, causing a pollution incident that was investigated by Natural Resources Wales.

St Dogmaels

St Dogmaels (Welsh: Llandudoch) is a village, parish and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on the estuary of the River Teifi, a mile downstream from the town of Cardigan in neighbouring Ceredigion. A little to the north of the village, further along the estuary, lies Poppit Sands beach. The parish includes the small settlement of Cippyn, south of Cemaes Head.


Troedyraur is a small village, wider rural community and electoral ward in Ceredigion, Wales. The community consisting of several small villages, the population as of the 2011 UK Census was 1,310.

The village is on a minor road about 3 miles or 5 km to the north of Newcastle Emlyn. Other villages in the Community are Rhydlewis, Ffostrasol, Brongest, Capel Cynon, Coed-y-bryn, Croes-lan, Penrhiwpâl and Llangynllo.

The main river flowing through the community is the Afon Ceri, a tributary of the river Teifi.

There is a hillfort, Dinas Cerdin, and the ruined mansion of Bronwydd.

Troedyraur is represented at the local level by Troed-yr-aur Community Council, which consists of ten community councillors. The ward of Troedyraur also elects one county councillor to Ceredigion County Council.

Principal settlements
Towns and
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