Coordinates: 51°51′58″N 4°16′08″W / 51.866°N 4.269°W / 51.866; -4.269
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Davids Church
Abergwili is located in Carmarthenshire
Location within Carmarthenshire
Population1,612 [1]
OS grid referenceSN438210
  • Abergwili
Principal area
Preserved county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCarmarthen
Postcode districtSA32
Dialling code01267
FireMid and West Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
51°51′58″N 4°16′08″W / 51.866°N 4.269°W / 51.866; -4.269
1853 drawing of the village from Parade, Carmarthen

Abergwili (Welsh pronunciation) is a village and community in Carmarthenshire, Wales, near the confluence of the rivers Towy and Gwili, close to the town of Carmarthen. It is also an electoral ward. Named after the village of Abergwili, the community includes the settlements of Peniel, Llanfihangel-uwch-Gwili and White Mill. The grounds of the former Bishop's Palace are listed on the Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.

Bishop's Palace[edit]

The village is known for its Bishop's Palace, home to the Bishop of St David's since 1542, when Bishop William Barlow transferred his palace from St David's to Abergwili, re-using the premises of an older college of priests. The building is believed to have been built between 1283 and 1291, when Thomas Bek was made bishop of St Davids. It was known as a college until it was amalgamated with another to create Christ College in Brecon. It was almost completely rebuilt in 1903 following a disastrous fire. It contains the chapel originally added by Archbishop Laud in 1625, when he was Bishop of St David's. In 1974 the old episcopal palace was purchased by Carmarthenshire County Council for use as a museum, whilst a new residence for the bishops, "Llys Esgob", was built in part of the grounds, together with Diocesan Offices - thereby continuing a connection with Abergwili which has now lasted for well over 400 years.[2]

Until 1802 the river Towy ran past the back of the Palace; it changed course and left an oxbow lake. Today it is a large lily pond with large amounts of wildlife.[3] The park is registered at Grade II on the Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.[4]


Abergwili has seen a substantial increase in population in recent years with new property developments but has kept its character and rural tranquility. The Celtic cross war memorial was built in memory of those from the village who died in the two world wars. Abergwili has a bilingual primary school in the centre.[5]

The village is home to the Carmarthen Quins rugby union team. Merlin's Hill Centre is a farm which has been opened up to the public.[6] Merlin's Hill is next to the farm. There is a footpath that goes to the top of the hill, which is the site of an Iron Age hillfort.[7] Merlin's Hill is down in local legend as the final resting place of Merlin from the Arthurian legend. The "Wheat Sheaf" pub in the village is one of the oldest pubs in Carmarthenshire. Around 1850 there was also a pub called the "Albion Inn".

It has a hospital, Glangwili General Hospital, and heritage railway, Gwili Railway. It once had a railway station.

Religious history[edit]

There are two places of Christian worship in the village of Abergwili: Ebeneser Chapel, a Welsh Nonconformist Independent Chapel, and St David's, a Church in Wales parish church. St David's was rebuilt in the early 1840s when the Rev. Joshua Hughes was vicar, on the foundations of a much earlier church. The new church was consecreated in 1843.[8] The cost was £1,400, and Hughes was later to become Bishop of St Asaph. Richard Davies was buried at this church.

The parish of Abergwili also includes a number of other places of worship, including the church at Llanfihangel uwch Gwiliand the Independent (Congregationalist) chapel at Peniel.

Local government[edit]

Abergwili is an electoral ward for the purposes of elections to Carmarthenshire County Council. From 1995 until 2017, the ward was represented by Independent councillor Pam Palmer. Abergwili also has a community council. It was won by Plaid Cymru candidate Dorian Williams in 2017, who was succeeded by Neil Lewis in 2022.

The community is bordered by the communities of: Llanllawddog; Llanegwad; Llanarthney; Llangunnor; Carmarthen; and Bronwydd, all being in Carmarthenshire.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ (2011)"Community population 2011". Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Friends of Carmarthen Museum". Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Friends of Carmarthen Museum".
  4. ^ Cadw. "Bishop's Palace, Abergwili (PGW(Gm)59(CAM))". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  5. ^ Ysgol Abergwili | Abergwili School Archived July 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Merlin's Hill Centre & Bed Breakfast, Carmarthen".
  7. ^ "Merlin, Merlins Hill and the old hill fort".
  8. ^ "St David's Church, Abergwili". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW). Retrieved 20 May 2023.

External links[edit]

Media related to Abergwili at Wikimedia Commons