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KIDWELLY (Cydweli), a decayed market-town and municipal borough of Carmarthenshire, Wales, situated (as its name implies) near the junction of two streams, the Gwendraeth Fawr and the Gwendraeth Fach, a short distance from the shores of Carmarthen Bay. Pop. (1901), 2285. It has a station on the Great Western railway. The chief attraction of Kidwelly is' its magnificent and well-preserved castle, one of the finest in South Wales, dating chiefly from the 13th century and admirably situated on a knoll above the Gwendraeth Fach. The parish church of St Mary, of the 14th century, possesses a lofty tower with a spire. The quiet little town has had a stirring history. It was a place of some importance when William de Londres, a companion of Fitz Hamon and his conquering knights, first erected a castle here. In 1135 Kidwelly was furiously attacked by Gwenllian, wife of Griffith ap Rhys, prince of South Wales, and a battle, fought close to the town at a place still known as Maes Gwenllian, ended in the total defeat and subsequent execution of the Welsh princess. Later, the extensive lordship of Kidwelly became the property through marriage of Henry, earl of Lancaster, and to this circumstance is due the 'exclusive jurisdiction of the town. Kidwelly received its first charter of incorporation from Henry VI.; its present charter dating from 1618. The decline of Kidwelly is due to the accumulation of sand at the mouth of the river, and to the consequent prosperity of the neighbouring Llanelly.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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