Llandovery College

Llandovery College
Welsh: Coleg Llanymddyfri
Motto Gwell Dysg Na Golud
([There are] no riches better than learning)
Established 1848
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Anglican
Warden Guy Ayling
Founder Thomas Phillips
Location Queensway
SA20 0EE
Local authority Carmarthenshire
DfE number 669/6002
DfE URN 401992 Tables
Students 340~
Gender Coeducational
Ages 4–18
Former pupils Old Llandoverians
Website www.llandoverycollege.com

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

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]

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

Former staff members

Old Llandoverians

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

Rugby players

See also


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