Following a re-appraisal, a new route was drawn up in 1864 (Figure 2). This was shorter -
it went through Cwmystwyth and then down to Ysbytty Ystwyth. From
there it was to run towards afon Marchnant before descending down to
the level of the Teifi. The new track followed a slightly different
direction – to the west of the 1860 route from Ysbytty Ystwyth to
Alltddu and then re-joining the original planned course.
of Alltddu the line was to run across Cors Caron to a junction near
Ystrad Meurig, off which there was to be a branch from the main line to
Aberystwyth. According to J.S.Holden  this new route to Aberystwyth
was essential since Devil’s Bridge was no longer on the main line.
is said locally, that the decision to alter the course of the line
between Alltddu and Ysbyty Ystwyth was forced on to the company by a
local doctor or surgeon. He was Roland Rowlands and in the census
returns for 1851 and 1861 he was recorded as a Member of the
Royal College of Surgeons and married with one daughter and four sons.
Around the time when the railway was being built he was about 50 years
of age and lived with his wife at No 2 Bridge Street (or Dolybont
according to the 1851 census). The story goes that he stubbornly
refused to let the railway pass through his land leaving M & M no
option other than to re-directing the line across Cors Caron.
is a nice story – one man holding out and defeating a strong and
powerful company. However, it is unlikely to be true. As indicated
earlier, all proposed railway routes had to pass through a number of
Parliamentary hurdles before being given the Royal Assent; however,
once this was given, the company involved had the power to compulsory
purchase land, if necessary.
virtually all the land between Tregaron and Pontrhydfendigaid belonged
to Lord Lisburne. He had tenants in Maesllyn, Allddu, Dolyrychen,
Brynhope right through to Dolfawr and, judging from the tithe maps, it
appears that all the fields in and around the village were also part of
the Trawscoed estate. There was very little land that did not belong to
Lord Lisburne and there was no reference to any fields owned by Roland
Rowlands. Even if there had been, it is highly unlikely that they would
be so strategically placed as to stop the line from being routed
through, or close to the village.
is reasonable to conclude that Roland Rowlands, as an individual, had
very little effect on M & M’s plans in the area. However, this was
not true in the case of Lord Lisburne. He had a strong vested interest
in the choice of route from Tregaron to Strata Florida. A letter in
1862 from a David . ? . , at the Crosswood Estate Office, Wenallt House
to Lord Lisburne’s solicitors in London reads as follows
28th November 1862
proposed railway from Llanidloes to Pencader – or what is called the
Manchester and Milford Railway – cuts up 4 or 5 of Lord Lisburnes farms
to a serious extent . . . many acres of land about Pontrhydfendigaid
that is now let at good rents as accommodation land.
company are now going to parliament for extension of the line and other
matters. Do you think could there be any chance to get them to alter
the line so as to avoid destroying the lands alluded to.
would be very much better for the Estate to give the land for a mere
nominal sum were the company to bring their line on the north of the
Tivy between Pontrhydfendigaid and Tregaron instead of the south side
as at present intended, and it would be a better line also but perhaps
a little more expensive to make.
the farms alluded to namely, Maesllyn, Maeselwad, Alltdu, Old Abbey,
and Wernfelin. There is so very little dry corn land and that is the
very part the railway destroys leaving only narrow slips on both sides
the railway that these farms in the aggregate will not be worth as much
rent by £100 to £150 a year – no triffling sum.
I wish you would be so good as to communicate with the company’s solicitors on the subject.
thing. Lord Lisburne was given to understand – and not only to
understand – but assured that the line was intended to be as I wish and
so much was he impressed that I can scarcely get him to believe that I
am earnest as to the side of the Tivy it is intended to be made and if
he can now oppose them he will at all . . .
a year and a half later, the same person sent another letter to the
solicitors saying that the rail route problem had been resolved.
gives me great pleasure to inform you that the railway business has
been settled and . . . is satisfactory to all parties. You will observe
from the alterations in red ink that the price of all the land
required for the purpose of the railway is fixed at £45 an acre and I
think a very good price taking everything into account.
are a couple of short paragraphs referring to a few clauses in what
appears to be a draft agreement. The last paragraph urges a C. Pracbe
(?) Esq to have the agreement signed and sealed as soon as possible.
engineer is to make a proper plan of the deviation . . . and send it to
me for inspection and which I will send on to you. But as Mr Davies (that must be Mr David Davies, Llandinam)
says you should at once draw out the agreement and get the company’s
seal to it – I have sent you the agreement so as no delay may be on
I shall be glad to hear what you think of the agreement and the price for land.
I am, etc, etc.
David . ? .
‘Satisfactory to all parties’
probably meant that M & M was able to negotiate a reasonable price
for all the land between Tregaron and Aberystwyth, most of which was
owned by Lord Lisburne. Lord Lisburne, on the other hand, probably
influenced M & M’s choice of route all the way to Aberystwyth – so
as to minimize the effect on his farms between Maesllyn and
Pontrhydfendigaid and, also, on his own Trawscoed mansion.