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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°44′11″N 4°18′26″W / 51.73634°N 4.30714°W / 51.73634; -4.30714

Welsh: Cydweli
Kidwelly Town Centre and Parish Church
Kidwelly is located in Wales2

 Kidwelly shown within Wales
Population 3,000 approx.
OS grid reference SN407067
Community Kidwelly Town Council
Principal area Carmarthenshire
Ceremonial county Dyfed
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town KIDWELLY
Postcode district SA17
Dialling code 01554
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Llanelli
Welsh Assembly Llanelli
List of places: UK • Wales • Carmarthenshire

Kidwelly (Welsh: Cydweli) is a town in Carmarthenshire, west Wales, approximately 10 miles west of the main town of Llanelli.

It lies on the River Gwendraeth above Carmarthen Bay. The town is twinned with French village St Jacut de la Mer.



The name 'Kidwelly' is thought to be very old: the earliest form of the name, 'Cetgueli', is recorded by the monk, Nennius, writing in the 9th century. The town and castle were established by the invading Normans during the 12th century.

A field in the neighbouring forest of Kingswood, Maes Gwenllian is known as the location of a battle in 1136, in which Princess Gwenllian, sister of Owain Gwynedd, led her husband's troops into battle against a Norman army during his absence. She is believed to have been killed either during the battle or shortly afterwards, historians debate whether her death was at Maes Gwenllian or if she was marched back to Kidwelly Castle to be beheaded there.

Although being an ancient town, Kidwelly grew significantly during the industrial revolution, as did many other towns in South Wales. The town was home to a large brickworks and tinworks. Little evidence now exists of such activities since the closure of the industrial works, with the exception of Kidwelly Industrial Museum.

An atmospheric quotation from a despondent vicar in the nineteenth century provides a fascinating insight to times gone by;

Kidwelly Parish Church records, 1851 "Remarks: [MS torn] . . . Lords day in this Town is but very little regarded as a day for spiritual worship [pub] lick houses are allowed to be open, and frequented during Divine Service. Publick [hou]ses are very numerous in this place, and even the Town Clerk keeps a . . . publick house. Often times on the Lord's day we are not only hear cursing and . . . once swearing in our streets, but frequently we see most brutal fighting, and . . . [n]otice taken thereof by the authority of the Town. This is the cause why places [of wor]ship are so little frequented and religion so little appreciated and professed at Kidwelly." Thomas Griffiths, Vicar[1]


Local attractions include Kidwelly Castle, founded in 1106; a fourteenth century bridge and gate; the former quay (now a nature reserve); a Norman parish church, and an industrial museum.

Kidwelly Carnival is an annual event held on the second Saturday of July each year. Previous carnivals have featured aerial displays.[1]


Road - Kidwelly is connected to Llanelli and Carmarthen by the A484 road.

Bus/Coach - There are regular local buses running through Kidwelly, linking the town with Llanelli and Carmarthen, with a main stop in the town centre. There is also a Coach Park located in the town centre.

Rail - Kidwelly railway station is on the West Wales Line. Westbound services from Kidwelly terminate at Carmarthen or Pembroke Dock, with less frequent direct services to Fishguard and Milford Haven. Eastbound services terminate at Swansea railway station or Cardiff Central, with less frequent direct services to Manchester Piccadilly and London Paddington.[2][3]

Cycling - Kidwelly is connected to the National Cycle Network along the coast from the east and west by NCR 4.[4] The cycle path runs directly through the town centre.

Air - Pembrey Airport is approximately 3 miles east of Kidwelly, and is connected to the town by regular bus services. The nearest airport with domestic and international scheduled flights is Cardiff International Airport.

Walking- There are numerous public footpaths and bridleways in Kidwelly and Mynydd-y- Garreg, including Glan yr Afon, just behind the Wesleyan Chapel on the Bridge and Summer Way (Maes yr Haf) off Water Street. Information and maps are obtainable from the Town Council Offices in Bridge Street.


Kidwelly is governed on a local level by Carmarthenshire County Council and on a community level by Kidwelly Town Council, who appoint a Mayor of Kidwelly and Mynydd-y-garreg.


The local rugby union team is Kidwelly RFC, a club formed in the 1880s which now plays in the Welsh Rugby Union league. The town is also the home venue of local football team Kidwelly Town, who currently play in Carmarthenshire Division 3.

See also


  1. ^ Kidwelly Carnival
  2. ^ National Rail Enquiries
  3. ^ Route 14 South and Central Wales and Borders
  4. ^ Sustrans

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kidwelly Castle interior
Kidwelly Castle interior

Kidwelly [1] is a small town in Carmarthenshire, South Wales in the United Kingdom. It has a population of 3000 people and its major attraction is a well kept 12th century castle.

  • Trains depart Swansea every two hours for Carmarthen and make a stop in Kidwelly. The journey takes about thirty-five minutes. Note, however, that as Kidwelly is a stop-on-demand station, travelers will need to flag down an approaching train in order for it to stop
  • Bus number X11 (Swansea – Carmarthen) operates every 30 minutes and 111 (Swansea – Kidwelly) every 30 minutes on week days, and every hours on Sunday.
  • Kidwelly Castle. Kidwelly Castle is a twelfth century Norman fort overlooking the town. Although it has not been lived in since the seventeenth century, the castle is in good condition and visitors can climb up many of the towers and walk along the walls. The castle is about 1 and a half km from the station.
  • Parish Church. A typical example of a Norman parish church.


The tour company Dark Deeds is based in Kidwelly. They are unique in that they offer the only crime tours in Wales. Local author and crime historian Bob Hinton takes you to some of the most famous crime scenes in Carmarthenshire. If crime isn’t your thing he can also arrange Ghost tours and heritage tours. For those of you wishing to trace your roots his Family tree tour is the one for you. Details can be found on the website


There are no major retail stores in kidwelly apart from an average sized Co-op, Spar convenience store and Travis Perkins. There is a local flower shop and Kidwelly has the oldest Renault dealership in the UK which is named after the founders family name Gravells which is owned by his sons now. They have recently taken on Kia cars in which a new showroom has been opened next to the Murco petrol station thet have on site. There are plans for a bigger showroom to be built in the industrial part right next to Kidwelly By-Pass.

  • Time for Tea tea rooms
  • Gwenllian Court Hotel
  • The Anthony's public house


The Mason Arms on Water Street is a thatched roof pub just a short walk away from Kidwelly Castle. The new, friendly owners insist the pub is over 700 years old and haunted with over two dozen friendly spirits. Enquire about Friday evening seances. Welsh ales by the Felinfoel brewery on draught and meals until 9PM.

TIME FOR TEA Tea Rooms, Kidwelly - Christmas 2008 - Gifts for Sale on Wednesday, 3 December - come along and buy some beautiful and unusual gifts - Also on sale complementary healthcare vouchers for reflexology, indian head massage, aromatherapy and spa events with Healing Hands and The Holistic Sanctuary, Pen-y-mynydd. Qualified complementary healthcare practitioners will be on hand to answer your queries and guide you through your purchases. Time for Tea will also be giving some free refreshments during this festive event! Come along and have some fun!

Get out

See Swansea Bay for more highlights of the surrounding area.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KIDWELLY (Cydweli), a decayed market-town and municipal borough of Carmarthenshire, Wales, situated (as its name implies) near the junction of two streams, the Gwendraeth Fawr and the Gwendraeth Fach, a short distance from the shores of Carmarthen Bay. Pop. (1901), 2285. It has a station on the Great Western railway. The chief attraction of Kidwelly is its magnificent and well-preserved castle, one of the finest in South Wales, dating chiefly from the 13th century and admirably situated on a knoll above the Gwendraeth Fach. The parish church of St Mary, of the 14th century, possesses a lofty tower with a spire. The quiet little town has had a stirring history. It was a place of some importance when William de Londres, a companion of Fitz Hamon and his conquering knights, first erected a castle here. In 1135 Kidwelly was furiously attacked by Gwenllian, wife of Griffith ap Rhys, prince of South Wales, and a battle, fought close to the town at a place still known as Maes Gwenllian, ended in the total defeat and subsequent execution of the Welsh princess. Later, the extensive lordship of Kidwelly became the property through marriage of Henry, earl of Lancaster, and to this circumstance is due the exclusive jurisdiction of the town. Kidwelly received its first charter of incorporation from Henry VI.; its present charter dating from 1618. The decline of Kidwelly is due to the accumulation of sand at the mouth of the river, and to the consequent prosperity of the neighbouring Llanelly.

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