Llandovery College

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Llandovery College
Welsh: Coleg Llanymddyfri

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SA20 0EE

TypeIndependent day and boarding
MottoGwell Dysg Na Golud
([There are] no riches better than learning)
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
FounderThomas Phillips
Local authorityCarmarthenshire
Department for Education URN401992 Tables
WardenGuy Ayling
Age4 to 18
Former pupilsOld Llandoverians

Llandovery College (Welsh: Coleg Llanymddyfri) is a coeducational independent school in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, Wales. The college consists of Gollop Preparatory, Senior School and Sixth Form. It was previously known as "Welsh College, Llandovery" and "Collegiate Institute" at various periods of its history.[1]


Llandovery College was founded and endowed by surgeon Thomas Phillips in 1847 to provide a classical and liberal education in which the Welsh language, the study of Welsh literature and history, were to be cultivated. The town of Llandovery was decided upon "because of its central position and because of easy communication with all parts of South Wales". Also important was “the great beauty and healthiness of the locality and the absence of manufacturing industries". The school first opened with a handful of boys on St David's Day 1848. On 13 December 1849, the foundation stone of the present building was laid.

Between 1901 and 1903, alterations were made to the existing school, and new buildings were added, by the Lancaster architects Austin and Paley. The additional buildings included the east range, a school house, and a dining room, at a cost of about £10,000.[2][3]

The first girls were admitted during the late 1960s. Gollop Preparatory School, the prep department which was named after the Chairman of Governors Ian Gollop, was opened to pupils aged 7–11 in 2001. A nursery was added and the intake was extended to age 4 for the 2012–13 school year.


The school building is designated by Cadw as a Grade II listed building.[3]


All pupils in the preparatory school and up to Year 9 are required to learn Welsh.

On St David's Day 2011, the college opened Wales' first Confucius classroom to facilitate the teaching of Mandarin Chinese, with Prince Charles and Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming both in attendance.[4]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

There is a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for pupils. Llandovery is known for its sporting tradition and rugby remains one of the more popular sports. Other sports available include football, cricket, hockey, netball and athletics.


The college is equipped with over 45 acres (18 ha) of playing fields, an all-weather pitch, climbing wall, gym and weights room, swimming pool and a 9-hole golf course.[5] There are equestrian facilities located in the vicinity.[6]

Links with rugby union[edit]

Llandovery College has connections with the early adoption of rugby into Wales. Although St David's College, Lampeter is accepted as the first establishment to play rugby, Llandovery was one of their first opponents, were present at the formation of the Welsh Rugby Union in Neath in 1881 and provided two players to the very first international game Wales played. The second captain of the Welsh national team, Charles Lewis, represented Llandovery College and was the first Wales captain to lead a team in the Home Nations Championship.

Notable former pupils and staff[edit]

Former staff members[edit]

Old Llandoverians[edit]

Alumni are known as Old Llandoverians and belong to the Old Llandoverian Society.[8]

Rugby players[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Where to discover surprising signs of Wales' past". Western Mail. 8 October 2010.
  2. ^ Brandwood, Geoff; Austin, Tim; Hughes, John; Price, James (2012), The Architecture of Sharpe, Paley and Austin, Swindon: English Heritage, pp. 173, 244, ISBN 978-1-84802-049-8
  3. ^ a b Llandovery College, Cadw, retrieved 15 December 2012
  4. ^ "Prince Charles opens wales' first Confucius classroom". Western Mail. 2 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Llandovery College Golf Club". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  6. ^ Sports
  7. ^ Early College Wardens Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Old Llandoverian Society
  9. ^ "X-Factor Rhydian Roberts 'wanted to be rugby star'". Wales on Sunday. 6 March 2011.
  10. ^ a b "England v Wales v rugby: Does a class divide still separate the sport in the two rival nations?". Western Mail. 24 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Doctors who swapped stethoscope for rugby scrum". Western Mail. 15 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Wales' try-scoring trio give their old school a thrill". Western Mail. 25 August 2011.
  13. ^ Tozer, Malcolm, ed. (2012). Physical Education and Sport in Independent Schools. John Catt Educational Ltd. p. 293. ISBN 9781908095442.

External links[edit]