The Bishops of St Davids connection with Abergwili goes back over 700 years to the founding of a church college by Bishop Thomas Bek in the late thirteenth century. It was Bek’s college that would eventually become the Bishop’s Palace in the mid sixteenth century.
Over the centuries the fortunes of both the palace and its bishops have seen both highs and lows. During the political and religious turmoil of the sixteenth and seventeenth century two former bishops found themselves at odds with those who ran the country and were executed, one for treason. Whilst at many points in its history the palace itself has been in a state of near ruin. Despite this both the palace and its occupiers have continued to play an important part in our history.
This introduction provides a brief over view of the story of the Bishop’s Palace and Park and the bishops who lived there. For more detailed information please look at the ‘History of the Bishops Park’ in our Resources section.
The main hall and grand staircase of the Bishop’s Palace around 1910
Courtesy of Carmarthenshire Museums