The nearby St Tysul Church dates back to the 12th century, and a Christian settlement has existed on the site since the 6th Century. St Tysul was the cousin of St David, our Patron Saint, and the grandson of the founder of Ceredigion, Ceredig.
The present church was built in the 12th century and a number of prehistoric sites are found in the area, such as the Iron Age hill fort at Pencoedfoel. Llandysul ‘llan’ was the heartbeat of the old parish, with church, pubs, shops, and crafts people’s homes. The area was once a busy farming and wool producing area, and the Teifi and its tributaries would have originally powered local woollen and corn mills.
The Porth has always a strong connection with the St Tysul church. Prior to being called The Porth the inn had another name in relation with the church: ‘Troedyrhiw rhiwr clochdu’ (roughly translating as ‘at the foot of the hill with the bell tower’ indicating it’s proximity to the church).
Pilgrims across the ages would have rested at inns such as Y Porth, which would have been on route of many a journey.
In the 1400’s, Owain Glyndwr has a connection to Llandysul through his mother and her land ownership. In fact we believe that Glyndwr’s courthouse could very well have been at the Porth. Later on, the Assembly rooms on the 1st floor of the Porth held petty sessions.
The first generation of Jameses to run the Porth were Iris and Bill James, who first moved to Llandysul from London where they ran a dairy in the Olympia area. Iris was bought up in the public house industry, and their son Andrew grew up in the King’s Head in Lampeter. Andrew went to college in Westminster where he first met his wife Louise. After getting married, they ran a family cafe in Wendover and moved back to Wales after 2 and a half years of looking for a property and found the Porth.
They worked hard to redevelop and revamp the Porth and built a strong reputation as a venue that welcomes fishermen from all over the country as well as being a lively community hub. They developed a function room so that they could offer a venue for wedding, parties and entertainment.
For 30 years The Porth has been home and business to the family, and 3 generations later Andrew and Louise’s son Rhodri and partner Sarah are now working alongside them.