Narberth, Pembrokeshire

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Narberth town view (2009).jpg
Narberth is located in Pembrokeshire
Location within Pembrokeshire
Population2,489 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSN110147
  • Narberth
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSA67
Dialling code01834
FireMid and West Wales
EU ParliamentWales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
51°47′56″N 4°44′32″W / 51.7989°N 04.7423°W / 51.7989; -04.7423Coordinates: 51°47′56″N 4°44′32″W / 51.7989°N 04.7423°W / 51.7989; -04.7423

Narberth (Welsh: Arberth) is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales. 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, which is close to the A40 trunk road, holds a number of events throughout the year and is twinned with Ludlow, Shropshire.


Narberth 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".[2]


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.[3] 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.

Location and description[edit]

Narberth is a mile south of the A40 trunk road (on the A478) and Narberth railway station is on the main line between Swansea and Pembroke.

The population was (2011) 2,150, of which a third are Welsh-speaking.

Notable people[edit]

Sir Thomas Foley was born in Llawhaden, near Narberth. A contemporary of Lord Nelson, he was a senior naval officer at the battles of the Nile and Copenhagen.[4] The footballer Joe Allen was raised and educated in the town.[5]

Facilities and attractions[edit]

Narberth Castle ruins, 2005

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 has a range of independent shops, including a Daily Telegraph sponsored 'Best Traditional Business',[6] national award-winning butcher, women's boutiques, gift shops and has developed a reputation as an antiques centre. In 2014 The Guardian called it "not only a gastronomic hub for west Wales but also one of the liveliest, most likable little towns in the UK".[7]

Other attractions near to Narberth include Blackpool Mill, at the highest tidal reach of the River Cleddau, where otters and other wildlife may be seen and Oakwood Theme Park.

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 has a contemporary art gallery and a restaurant. The Grove hotel also provides restaurant facilities as well as accommodation and caters for special events.

The Bloomfield House Community Centre, a Community association and a registered charity is located in Narberth.

Narberth was named one of the best places to live in Wales in 2017.[8]


Narberth elects a Town Council, which in turn elects a Mayor or First Citizen annually.[9]

Current Mayor 2019/20 Cllr. Christopher Walters / Deputy Mayor: Cllr. Sue Rees

A county councillor is elected to Pembrokeshire County Council every five years from each of Narberth's two local government wards, Narberth (town) and Narberth Rural. In the May 2017 election, independent candidate Elwyn Morse was elected unopposed as county councillor for Narberth Rural.[10]

Narberth is in the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies, for elections to the UK and Wales governments.

Twin town[edit]

Narberth is twinned with the English town of Ludlow, and both towns celebrate an annual food festival.[11]


Narberth is home to several sporting teams, including Narberth Rugby Football Club who currently play in the Welsh Championship, Narberth Football Club, and a cricket club.


Visitors on carnival day

Narberth Food Festival takes place on the fourth weekend of September every year. In September 2018 it celebrated its 20th birthday. The festival features celebrity chefs, cookery demonstrations, music, entertainment and children's activities.[12]

Narberth Civic Week is held during the last full week of July and includes 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. 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 is also home to the Narberth A Cappella Voice Festival, which began in 2008 and is described as Wales' only a cappella festival. It celebrated its tenth anniversary in May 2018.[13]


  1. ^ "Community and ward population 2011". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  2. ^ Owen, George, The Description of Penbrokshire by George Owen of Henllys Lord of Kemes, Henry Owen (Ed), London, 1892
  3. ^ The Mabinogion: Pwyll Prince of Dyved and Manawyddan the Son of Llyr, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Online at
  4. ^ Wareham, Tom (2004), "Foley, Sir Thomas (1757–1833)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.), Oxford University Press, retrieved 9 March 2008 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  5. ^ "Footballer Joe returns to his roots". Tenby Today. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  6. ^ "The Countryside Alliance website ''". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  7. ^ Moss, Chris (27 September 2014). "Narberth: a rare bit of Wales". Retrieved 2 May 2017 – via The Guardian.
  8. ^ "These towns have been named as the best places to live in Wales". Wales Online.
  9. ^ "New Narberth Mayor follows in her mother's footsteps". Tenby Observer. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  10. ^ "Who's standing? Candidates for 2017 Pembrokeshire County Council elections". Western Telegraph. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  11. ^ Ludlow Town Council Ludlow's Twin Towns
  12. ^ "Gordon Bennett! Look who dropped into Narberth Food Festival today". Western Telegraph. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  13. ^ "Tenth Narberth A Cappella Voice Festival a beautiful birthday bash". Western Telegraph. 8 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.

External links[edit]