Ystrad Meurig Grammar School (St. John's College) Archive

Scope and Content

The archive contains correspondence relating to entry to Ystrad Meurig School, and from Ystrad Meurig School to St. David's College, Lampeter; financial papers; photographs of the college; copies of the college magazine and other miscellaneous items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ystrad Meurig School was established c.1734 by Edward Richard of Ystrad Meurig, who began teaching local boys in the parish church. By 1759, he had over 50 pupils. In 1757, the school was legally established and endowed as a grammar school, and in 1774 was declared open to boys from Cardiganshire, offering a free education in Latin and the principles of the Church of England.

Edward Richard died in 1777, and the Rev. John Williams took over as headmaster. Under Williams, Ystrad Meurig School established and maintained a reputation for classical scholarship. By 1812, a separate school building had been erected in the parish churchyard, and between 1803 and 1827 Ystrad Meurig became the main institution for the training of ordinands in the St. David's diocese. At one point during this period, the school was attended by 150 pupils, and distinguished alumni included Dr David Davis, physician to William IV and Queen Victoria, and John Williams, first warden of Llandovery College. But most pupils went on to become clergy of the Church of England within Wales.

Numbers at Ystrad Meurig School fell after the opening of St. David's College at nearby Lampeter in 1827. The curriculum became more like that of a secondary school, and it developed into a preparatory institution for pupils who wished to go on to study at St. David's College, or at the University of Wales. It continued to provide education for local boys, and after both world wars accepted men whose education had been disrupted by war, prior to their advancement to university.

From the 1950s, the school gradually declined. By this time it had taken on the name of St. John's College, although the exact date of, and reasons for this are unknown. Its main role became the provision of O-level and A-level courses for potential students of theology at Lampeter. The last headmaster resigned in 1973. The school library has since been moved to St. David's College, Lampeter, and the school itself is now used as a village hall.

Conditions Governing Access

The papers may be consulted through application to Peter Hopkins, Curator, Roderic Bowen Library and Archives, Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion, SA48 7ED. Tel 01570 424716, email: rodericbowenlibrary@tsd.ac.uk


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to the University of Wales, Lampeter Archive.

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available at the University of Wales, Lampeter.