Kidwelly is a town in Carmarthenshire, west Wales, approximately 10 miles west of Llanelli. The town of Kidwelly lies on the River Gwendraeth above Carmarthen Bay. Kidwelly is a coastal town, ideally situated as a centre for touring West Wales, the Pembrokeshire National Park, the Gower Peninsula & the Brecon Beacons. The area is a superb mix of rolling countryside, seashore and woodland - indeed it is totally microcosmic of the rest of Wales at its finest.
Kidwelly was established in approximately 1115 AD and received its Royal Charter from
King Henry I.
The current population of Kidwelly is approximately 3,000 with some 30,000 tourists visiting annually.
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 nearby field known as 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. 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.
Today, the town has adapted to cater for tourism and retail rather than dense industry. With historical attractions and beautiful countryside 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.