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Llandovery (Carmarthenshire, Wales)

Welsh Town

Last modified: 2022-04-02 by rob raeside
Keywords: tywyn | gwynedd | wales |
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[Llandovery] image by Pete Loeser, 26 March 2022
Llandovery Town Council Crest Flag
Based on this photo located by Jason Saber, 4 February 2022

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Introduction: Landovery

Llandovery (Llanymddyfri) is a traditional rural Welsh market town. Historically, the town of Llandovery was located at an important river crossing on the River Tywi. The Romans built a fort on Llanfair Hill to protect the crossing, later the Normans built a castle overlooking the town. Llandovery became an assembly point for the drovers wishing to take their Welsh Black cattle to the London market. In 1484 King Richard III granted Landovery a Royal Charter which gave the town Borough status. In the 19th century it became an important center for the wool trade, and has many colorful Georgian buildings around the town square built on the profits of the wool trade. Today, it is becoming popular with tourist who visit the town centre and its shops and craft outlets, as well as places to eat and drink at or stay.
Source: Llandovery website.
Pete Loeser, 26 March 2022

Description of the Llandovery Town Council Crest Flag

From this Nation-Cymru Article: Carmarthenshire town unfurls new flag as part of effort to promote its history.

Carmarthenshire town unfurls new flag as part of effort to promote its history.

The town council has just secured listed planning consent to fly the Llandovery crest on the town hall, Market Street.

A statement submitted as part of the flag-flying application said the main consideration was to promote Llandovery - or Llanymddyfri in Welsh - as a tourist venue and gateway town to the Cambrian Mountains.

Stephen Carter, the town council's clerk, said a flag bearing the coat of arms was made two years ago, just before the Covid pandemic. The flag-flying proposal was advertised in the town as part of a consultation, and the response from the public was positive.
Another more recent source can be found in the article Beer-drinking Goat to Highlight Llandovery's History on the BBC.
Jason Saber, 4 February 2022

Llandovery Town Council Coat of Arms

[Llandovery City Council Coat of Arms] image located by Pete Loeser, 26 March 2022

I have been unable to locate much about this "Llandovery Town Council" Coat of Arms. I suspect it is of modern invention. The shield itself is a quadrant Royal Coat of Arms, perhaps of King Richard III who gave the town a Royal Charter? Two "leaks"(?) have been added as supporters and the name of the town and 1484 royal charter indicated in the ribbon beneath. Its visual source is the Llandovery Town Council Website, but unfortunately on it they talk more about beer drinking history (70 pubs to be exact) and recreation in the area than anything about the heraldic or vexillological history of the crest or flag.
Pete Loeser, 26 March 2022

The is shield itself is taken from the English Royal Arms as introduced by King Edward III in 1340 and amended c1360 (not 1399), that is three fleur-de-lis in the first and fourth quarters and three lions passant guardant in the second and third - or France and England quarterly if you prefer. As you say these arms lasted until James VI or Scotland became James I of England in 1603.
The arms are ensigned/surmounted by a "Tudor Crown" (officially introduced by King Edward VII in 1902), and the supporters are almost certainly 'leeks', these being a national symbol of Wales. The only significance of the date "1484" (in the motto) I can think of is that it was a year before the decisive battle of Bosworth (and the defeat/death of King Richard III) after which Henry Tudor (whose father was, after all Welsh) became King Henry VII. Perhaps Henry Tudor landed in Llandovery with his Lancastrian army?
I am no heraldic expert but I will attempt to blazon the arms in proper form: First and Fourth Azure three fleur-de-lis Or Second and Third Gules three lions passant guardant Or in pale ensigned with a Tudor Crown supported by a pair of leaks motto LLANDOVERY 1484.
Chris Southworth, 27 March 2022