Hywel Dda Centre at Whitland
The Gardens at the Centre in Whitland offer visitors the chance to learn a little about this ancient law maker, Hywel Dda, and are open throughout the year but it is worth checking with K. Rees on 01994 240 867 if you want to visit.
According to tradition Hywel Dda “King of all Wales”, summoned representatives from all over Wales to an assembly at Whitland in the 10th Century to discuss and to codify a number of laws. These laws, the ‘Laws of Hywel’ as they became known, are described as one of the wonders of Welsh history, and examples are displayed on slate plaques illustrated with enamels in and around the gardens. They give a fascinating insight into medieval society, reflecting the customs of the Welsh people, their way of life and their fair values.Hywel Dda was born around the year 880 AD and is a very respected part of Welsh History because his laws reflected compassion, tolerance, understanding towards women and above all plenty of common sense. He was a well educated man with a particularly good knowledge of Latin, Welsh and English. He also made a pilgrimage to Rome.
The laws of society are represented by several different trees – symbols of the variety of people which constitutes a community. There are a total of five small gardens at the Centre – The Birch, Ash, Poplar, Oak and Willow Gardens which each represent one of these different Laws of Society. For example the Willow Garden also known as The ‘Women’s Garden’ which is also the biggest and is meant to convey the particularly enlightened attitude of the “Law of Hywel” towards women. It is fascinating to go round the centre which has a wealth of information of great historical significance to this area and visitors to Old Oak Barn often drop by for a couple of hours. The dispalys inside are of high quality. There is also a small shop which stocks some great books on local history.
Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 am – 1.30pm and 2pm – 5pm during the Summer months.
Open Bank Holidays
Pre-arranged guided tours are welcomed throughout the year. Coach parties by appointment only. Charge made for guided tour. Facilities for people with disabilities.
Cost is around £3.