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A quick history

The museum moved from Carmarthen to Abergwili in 1975. That might seem a long time ago for some of us. But before then, the bishops of St.Davids lived here for over 400 years. And before that? It was a college of priests built at the end of the 13th century. Not a college as we use the word. More a community, a bit like a monastery or convents, but for priests, non monks or nuns. At over 700 years old, we might just be able to claim that the museum is Carmarthenshire's oldest home that's still in use.


During the time of the palace, several notable bishops lived there. In the reign of Queen Mary, Bishop Robert Ferrar was burnt at the stake in Carmarthen for his Protestant beliefs. Soon after came Richard Davies who made sure that the New Testament was translated into the Welsh language for the first time. William Laud was here a short while on his way to the top, becoming Archbishop of Canterbury and losing his head in 1645. He is remembered in the museum's Bishop's Chapel, first built by him.