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Carmarthen Museum, Abergwili.jpg
Carmarthen Museum
Grid reference: SN438210
Location: 51°51’58"N, 4°16’8"W
Post town: Carmarthen
Postcode: SA31
Dialling code: 01267
Local Government
Council: Carmarthenshire
Carmarthen West
and South Pembrokeshire

Abergwili is a village and parish in Carmarthenshire, near the confluence of the rivers Towy and Gwili.

Bishop's Palace

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 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.[1]

Until 1802 the river Towy ran past the back of the Palace until it changed course and left an oxbow lake. Today it is a large lily pond with large amounts of wildlife.[2]


Abergwili has seen a substantial increase in population in recent years with new property developments but has kept its character and rural tranquillity.

The Celtic cross war memorial was built in memory of those that died in both the first and second world war from the village.

Abergwili has a primary school in the centre.[3]

The village is home to the Carmarthen Quins Rugby Union team.

Merlin's Hill Centre, a farm which has been opened up to the public.[4] Merlin's Hill is situated right next the farm. There is a foot path that goes right to the top of the hill, which is the site of an Ironage hillfort.[5] 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".

There are two places of Christian Worship in Abergwili: Ebeneser Chapel, a Welsh Nonconformist Independent Chapel, and St David's, a Church in Wales parish church. St David's was rebuilt in 1841 by the vicar, the Rev. Joshua Hughes, on the foundations of a much earlier church. The cost was £1,400, and Hughes was later to become Bishop of St Asaph. Richard Davies was buried at this church.


  1. Friends of Carmarthen Museum
  2. Friends of Carmarthen Museum
  3. Ysgol Abergwili | Abergwili School
  4. Merlin's Hill Centre & Bed Breakfast, Carmarthen
  5. Merlin, Merlins Hill and the old hill fort

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Abergwili)