A general air of despair and despondency was lifted from St Dogmaels with completion of the drainage works to stabilise a landslide that was slowly tearing the village apart.
No one could be blamed for the slip. It was simply an ancient geological feature on the edge of what was once the Irish Sea ice sheet. The deposit of silt, clay, sand and gravels was reactivated in 1994 by artesian groundwater, which developed a head of up to 5m above ground level, with the result that the centre of St Dogmaels and some 30ha of fields began moving downhill towards the river Teifi.
Residents who wanted to escape found it hard to sell at as little as £5, 000. The County Council determined that it should do something for the village, commissioning an investigation by Halcrow and then remedial works consisting of 43 wells and an extensive drainage scheme to carry the water away. The quagmire was tamed and with the blight lifted, property values in the village are back up to £100, 000 plus.