Princess Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly
The Princess Gwenllian Centre, Hillfield Villas
This community centre is named after a woman who led a local army against Norman settlers. Her name also appears at Maes Gwenllian (“Gwenllian’s Field”), 1.5km north of Kidwelly.
To hear how to pronounce Gwenllian, press play: Or, download mp3 (13KB)
In 1135 Welsh rulers were buoyed by the outcome of a battle near Loughor in which c.500 Normans were killed. Gruffydd ap Rhys (c.1090-1137), who ruled Deheubarth (southern Wales), thought this was his opportunity to expel the Normans from his kingdom. He travelled north to ask his father-in-law, ruler of Gwynedd, for help.
In his absence the Lord of Kidwelly, Maurice de Londres, launched a counter-attack. Gwenllian, Gruffydd’s wife, fought back. Her army attacked the town and castle at Kidwelly in 1136 but was defeated. Gwenllian was killed at what is now Maes Gwenllian. One of her sons, Morgan, was killed and another, Maelgwn, captured.
Legend has it that Gwenllian’s headless ghost roams Maes Gwenllian and the town of Kidwelly, perhaps searching for her head.
The Princess Gwenllian Centre opened in May 2001 to provide sports and meeting facilities for the community.
Postcode: SA17 4UL