Narberth shown within Pembrokeshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Mid and West Wales|
|UK Parliament||Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire|
|Welsh Assembly||Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire|
Narberth (Welsh: Arberth) is a town in Pembrokeshire, Wales. (Population 2,150, of which a third are Welsh-speaking). It was founded around a Welsh court, but later became a Norman stronghold on the Landsker Line. It became the headquarters of the hundred of Narberth. It was once a marcher borough. George Owen described it in 1603 as one of nine Pembrokeshire "boroughs in decay".
The town plays a high-profile role in Welsh mythology, where it is the chief palace of Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed, and a key setting in both the first and third branches of the Mabinogi. A drama specially adapted for children based on the story of Culhwch and Olwen from the Mabinogion was staged at Narberth Castle when it was reopened to the public in 2005. Its most famous son is possibly Sir Thomas Foley.
Attractions in the town include several art galleries, the Narberth Museum, the former town hall which still houses the cell where the leaders of the Rebecca Riots were imprisoned and a ruined castle. Narberth is well known for its range of independent shops, including a Daily Telegraph sponsored 'Best Traditional Business', national award-winning butcher, women's boutiques, gift shops and has developed a reputation as an antiques center.
There are a number of civic events held each year, designed to reinforce the sense of community within the town.
Narberth Civic Week is held during the last full week of July and begins on the Sunday with a parade through the town to one of the Churches, where a service is held to welcome the newly appointed Mayor. In 2008, the Civic Service was held in the grounds of Narberth Castle for the first time, by special request of the then-Mayor, Councillor Radford-Smith. During Civic Week, there are various activities arranged for children, families and visitors to the town. The culmination of Civic Week is the annual Carnival Day Parade, a tradition dating back over 100 years. Narberth's Winter Carnival, held in December, was revived in 2009, after a break of 4 years.
The town's cultural and arts centre, the Queen's Hall, has recently played host to live bands such as Therapy?, The Blockheads, The Automatic, Sonic Boom Six, Skindred, Send More Paramedics, Pendulum and Enter Shikari. Concerts, plays and many classes, such as Kung Fu, yoga and line dancing are held there and it boasts a contemporary art gallery on the top floor as well as a restaurant on the ground floor.
The Bloomfield House Community Centre is a Community association and a registered charity. Narberth and District Community and Sports Association is the parent body and the Centre offers a very wide range of educational courses, leisure courses and sports and fitness facilities. Bloomfield also has a day nursery, after-school club, Cylch Meithrin, Cylch Ti a Fi, day care facilities for older people and a community bus available for hire.
Narberth Food Festival takes place on the fourth weekend of September every year. It is a not for profit event run by volunteers. On Friday 100 local primary school children are invited to an education day where they take part in food-related activities. On the Saturday and Sunday there are stallholders selling food, drinks and cookware as well as talks, entertainment and children's activities.
Narberth Castle ruins, looking towards the south. Photo taken shortly after safety work had been carried out in 2004-5, prior to re-opening to the public.
- Owen, George, The Description of Penbrokshire by George Owen of Henllys Lord of Kemes, Henry Owen (Ed), London, 1892
- The Mabinogion: Pwyll Prince of Dyved and Manawyddan the Son of Llyr, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Online at www.sacred-texts.com.
- Tom Wareham, ‘Foley, Sir Thomas (1757–1833)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2007 accessed 9 March 2008 Oxford DNB - subscription required
- "The Countryside Alliance website ''". Countrysideallianceawards.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- Ludlow Town Council Ludlow's Twin Towns
- "Home Page Narberth Food Festival 2012 - Gwyl Fwyd Arberth 2012". Narberthfoodfestival.com. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Narberth, Pembrokeshire.|
- geograph.co.uk, photos of Narberth and surrounding area