Lampeter ( or, more informally, Llambed) is a town in Ceredigion, South West Wales, lying at the confluence of the River Teifi and the Afon Dulas. It is the third largest urban area in Ceredigion after Aberystwyth and Cardigan.
The Norman castle of Pont Steffan (Stephen's Bridge in English) occupying a strategic position beside the River Teifi was destroyed in 1187 after it had been conquered by Owain Gwynedd. The remains of the castle later became the foundations for C. R. Cockerell's college building and still form part of the university campus.
Cardiganshire was one of the royal counties established by Edward I after the defeat of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf) at Cilmeri in 1282, when Lampeter fell under direct Royal Control. This, however, had little effect on the town and the Welsh language and culture continued to thrive. The first Borough Charter was granted in 1284 to Rhys ap Meredydd who was given the right to hold a weekly market. As many as eight fairs were also held each year under successive charters. One of these was the Dalis Horse fair.
The town was ruled by a local aristocracy who lived in elegant mansions including Brynhywel, Maesyfelin and the Lloyd baronets of Peterwell. As magistrates, they handed out the severest of penalties to offenders. The fairs and markets had become rowdy occasions characterised by violence and drunkenness and the stocks and whipping post in front of the town hall were frequently put to use in the 18th century.
The town developed the crafts, services and industries to cater for the needs of the rural area. There were several woollen mills, one of which in the mid-18th century was already producing the complex double-woven tapestry cloth later to become associated with the Welsh woollen industry. There were also blacksmiths, a leather tannery, carpenters, saddlers, bootmakers and hatters. The town was one of the main centres on the Welsh Drovers' road for the dispatch of cattle and sheep on foot to the markets of south east England. The large number of inns point to the town's importance as a rural centre and have names such as the Nag's Head, the Drovers and the Three Horseshoes.
Lampeter's War Memorial was unveiled in September 1921. It was sculpted by Sir William Goscombe John.