Former farmers’ co-op, Y Gât, St Clears
This building began as a farmers’ co-operative in 1910, in what had been Pentre farmhouse’s garden. Pentre Farm was the site of one of the earliest Welsh Circulating Charity Schools, as you can read on our web page about the farm.
The three-storey co-op building produced and sold livestock feed. It contained milling machinery and loading bays, and a pitch-pine office with internal glazing on the first floor. Hoists raised grain to the top floor. In 2023 Mrs Morgan of Pentre Farm recalled in her childhood going inside of an evening and sliding down the chutes from the grain loft to the ground floor!
From c.1966 the building was a coal store until eventually the county council purchased it and turned it into a craft centre and public library, opened on 3 July 1979. The town council took it over in 2023.
It was named Y Gât after the Rebecca Riots of 1839-1843, in which tollgates were attacked as symbols of oppression of rural people. The building was damaged by fire c.1934 (see photo) and had to be partially rebuilt. The top of the side wall was mortared with cement (still evident today) in the rebuilding.
Back in 1910, Pentre Farm’s cowsheds lay across the road, opposite the farmhouse. A twin building to the farmers’ co-op was built on the cowsheds’ site c.1915, replacing the cowsheds. It was the Western Counties Association (WCA), selling animal feeds on the ground floor. Its first floor was the Gwalia Hall, used for village functions (including dances, concerts, pantomimes) but burnt down c.1980, its site now being the car park in front of Lewis and Lewis.
This site was a focal point for the farming community before 1910. In 1908 luncheon for the St Clears Agricultural Society was provided at Pentre Farm. The society had been founded in 1878 at a meeting in the Swan Hotel. It organised an annual agricultural show and in 1907 opened a new market place and fairground near the corner with Station Road. In September 1945 the show resumed at Pentre Field following the Second World War. Miss Violet Griffiths, of Pentre Farm, was the society’s honorary secretary.
With thanks to Peter Stopp, of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society
Postcode: SA33 4AA View Location Map