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Remains of Llawhaden Hospital

A Grade II Listed Building in Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.8207 / 51°49'14"N

Longitude: -4.8062 / 4°48'22"W

OS Eastings: 206692

OS Northings: 217288

OS Grid: SN066172

Mapcode National: GBR CS.WJHW

Mapcode Global: VH2NY.NH0L

Entry Name: Remains of Llawhaden Hospital

Listing Date: 21 June 1971

Last Amended: 11 August 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 6070

Building Class: Health and Welfare

Location: At the W of Llawhaden Village, at S of the street behind the Community Hall

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Llawhaden (Llanhuadain)

Community: Llawhaden

Locality: Llawhaden Village

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Llawhaden Hospital was founded by Bishop Thomas Bek in 1287. The surviving building is possibly not original, as recent excavation has shown that there are foundations of an earlier structure extending to the E of it. The positions of the earlier building have been marked out on the grassed area. It is not possible to say what function the surviving building served in the Hospital. The foundation charter indicates the care of pilgrims, paupers, aged persons and imbeciles, and the building might have been a dormitory for any of these classes or it might have been a chapel. Other purposes might be a refectory or an infirmary. The presence of a piscina has led to the general presumption that it was a chapel, but this is not conclusive. The surviving building stands in a field named in the C19 Tithe Map as Chapel Field. An adjacent field was named as Priory Field.

The hospital was ruled by a prior assisted by two brethren; the first prior was Brother William. A prior is again mentioned in 1403. Profitability is implied in the appropriation of the hospital to the use of the Choristers of St David's in 1501. At the time of the Dissolution the establishment is referred to as the free chapel of St Mary.


A tall free-standing rectangular building without internal division, in uncoursed local stone rubble, lying E/W. Better stones at the quoins have been mostly robbed away. The roof consists of stonework over a high pointed vault; it is brought to a face and there are no slates or tiles. The W wall, overlying or related to the early foundations recently revealed, is blank. There are openings on all three other sides, but all dressed stone has been lost. At N and S are openings for slit or lancet windows. There was a door near to the W end of the N wall and there is a wide rounded doorway centrally in the E wall, of which stone voussoirs remain.


The building is about 8 by 5.5 m internally, with a pointed vault about 7.5 m to the apex. The N and S window openings internally have sharply splayed reveals and steeply sloping sills. The piscina at the S side has a straight-sided two-stone arch. Some plaster remains. There are sockets for four inserted beams, evidently for the recent stable loft.

Reasons for Listing

Listed notwithstanding considerable loss of architectural detail as an important antiquity in the history of St David's Diocese.

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