The Town of Whitland, Carmarthenshire
Shopping in Whitland
Whitland (Welsh: Hendy-gwyn; literal transalation: 'Old White House') is a small town in Carmarthenshire, lying on the River Tāf, approximately 15 miles from Carmarthen.
Whitland has a number of thriving businesses, a secondary school, and the well-known Hywel Dda interpretive centre (see below). It is also home to a wide wide variety of sporting grounds and clubs, including Rugby, Basketball, Football, Cricket and Bowls.
Whitland takes its name from the Cistercian abbey in the medieval period. The monks wore unstained white woollen cloaks, hence the name of the Abbey - "White Land" or "Alba Landa".
Hywel Dda Gardens & Interpretive Centre
The Hywel Dda Gardens & Interpretive Centre are located in the centre of Whitland. Hywel Dda was born towards the end of the 9th Century. In 928 AD he made a pilgrimage to Rome and by 942 AD ruled over most of the country and claimed the title "King of all Wales". He then summoned representatives from each commote in Wales to an assembly at "The White House on the Taf in Dyfed" for the purpose of codifying the laws. This legal system became known for its wisdom and justice and was in force in Wales until the Act of Union with England in 1536.
The Memorial consists of six gardens, each representing a separate division of the law. The laws are illustrated on slate plaques illuminated with enamels, in brick pavements, and in the planting scheme based on Celtic tree symbolism.
The gardens surrounding the Information Centre are planted with specimens symbolic of medieval Wales. The designs include artwork such as etched and stained glass, ceramics, iron work and enamels, which re-emphasises the Celtic tree symbolism of the gardens.
Whitland Abbey was a Cistercian abbey near Whitland, founded on 16th September, 1140 by monks from the mother house of Clairvaux. In 1144 it was located at Little Trefgarn near Haverfordwest. It moved to Whitland in about 1155, a site having been granted by John of Torrington. The abbey founded a number of daughter houses in Wales, starting with an abortive foundation at Abbeycwmhir in 1143. In 1164 a group of monks from Whitland founded Strata Florida Abbey. Strata Marcella Abbey was founded from Whitland in 1170, and in 1176 Cwmhir Abbey was re-founded.
Whitland Abbey was originally a Cambro-Norman foundation, but soon came under the control and patronage of Rhys ap Gruffydd, Prince of Deheubarth. It was at Whitland that Rhys's son, Maredudd, ended his days as a monk after he had been blinded by order of King Henry II of England when a hostage in England.
Very little now remains at the site, only the grass-covered foundations of the walls.
For news stories about Whitland on Google News click here.