Ceulanamaesmawr is located in north Ceredigion between the foothills of Pumlumon to the east and Cors Fochno to the west. The main settlement in the community, the village of Tal-y-bont, is about 7 miles north of Aberystwyth and 11 miles south of Machynlleth, Powys. The Council’s name is derived from two of the area’s rivers, Ceulan and Maesmawr, both tributaries of Eleri, the main river that flows through Ceulanamaesmawr.
The village grew to be a thriving industrial centre during the middle decades of the nineteenth century when a number of woollen mills were established on the banks of the Ceulan and Eleri rivers and with the sinking of numerous lead mines by capitalist entrepreneurs in the surrounding valleys and hills.
By the middle of the twentieth century, these traditional industries had all but disappeared, and the only significant industrial enterprise in the village today is Y Lolfa – one of Wales’s leading book publishers. Consequently a high percentage of the adult population commute to Aberystwyth and other places outside Ceulanamaesmawr for work. However, there are about 25 family-run farms within the community, and agriculturally based activities such as the annual Tal-y-bont show and the local branch of the YFC are thriving.
Today in Tal-y-bont there is a hotel; a licenced restaurant; village shop/ post office; garage; hairdressing salon; primary school; two chapels; a church and village hall. Also a large number of societies and sport clubs meet regularly.
Although the percentage of the population who speak Welsh has declined since the 1950s, it remains the main language spoken in the community. It is also the primary language of communication of local organisations such as the school, chapels, the Show and village hall committees, as well as the local community paper, Papur Pawb.