UWTSD celebrates rugby heritage as part of Ceredigion’s Legends of the West app


On Tuesday, May 23rd, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) will celebrate its place in Wales’ rich rugby history as it launches its involvement with a new and innovative heritage app.

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) will celebrate its place in Wales’ rich rugby history as it launches its involvement with a new and innovative heritage app.

To mark Wales’ Year of Legends, University of Wales Trinity Saint David has been working in partnership with Ceredigion and the Dyfi Biosphere Destination Partnerships to deliver a project in that will bring the region’s stories, legends and folklore to a new and broader audience.

UWTSD’s input focuses on celebrating Lampeter’s place in rugby history with the town being recognised as the birthplace of rugby in Wales.

The University will be marking its involvement in the project by welcoming the Scarlets rugby team to the campus who’ll will be running activities for the children of Ysgol Bro Pedr during the afternoon. 

An exhibition of rugby related memorabilia will also be launched – an exhibition that’s been curated by the University’s Heritage Studies students.

With funding from the Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) from VisitWales, the Ceredigion and the Dyfi Biosphere Destination Partnership group has developed a new App with Bangor based digital company, Locly to bring Ceredigion’s legendary landscape to life, delivering stories, legend based games, activities and information to visitors as they roam the region with their smartphones. The new app, works with GPS and iBeacon technology to locate the user and push content to their devices, encourages visitors to engage more deeply with the culture of the region and explore the places and spaces associated with the legends contained on the app.

As Lampeter is the birthplace of Welsh rugby, it’s fitting that the content about the town focusses on its sporting heritage.

The 2015 /2016 rugby season marked the 150th anniversary of the first competitive rugby match ever played in Wales between St David’s College (now UWTSD) and nearby Llandovery College.

It is widely accepted that rugby was introduced to Wales by the Rev. Professor Rowland Williams, who became Vice-Principal of St David’s College in 1850 and who’d played 

Rugby Football as a student at Kings College, Cambridge.  The Welsh Rugby Union also acknowledges Lampeter’s importance to the birth of rugby in Wales, giving their full support to last year’s season of events.

With articles in the University’s archives featuring former students reminiscing about playing rugby at Lampeter in the 1850s, rugby matches were certainly thought to have been played between students from 1850 onwards, although the first competitive match using the rugby rules wasn’t played until 1866.

Local historian, Selwyn Williams who has written a book about the town’s place in rugby history entitled The Fighting Parsons features on the app and tells the story of the town’s legendary rugby heritage.

Lindsey Gilroy, Business Development Officer at UWTSD’s Lampeter campus has been instrumental in the development of the project and has been working in collaboration with the Ceredigion Destination Management Partnership. 

 “The Legends of the West App is a wonderful overview of the exciting legends of Ceredigion and includes St David, Twm Sion Cati, the Nanteos cup, and even covers some contemporary legends such as the successful TV show Hinterland filmed in and around Ceredigion. The Lampeter content covers some of the history of how rugby was brought to Lampeter, with an audio narration by Selwyn Williams himself, including historical photographs of the town and University, and information about Rowland Williams as well as his portrait. 

“The University is also launching a temporary exhibition of Rugby covering the period from the birth of the game to the current era, that will run over throughout the Summer.  The exhibition has been curated by our very own Heritage Studies students and has been supported by the Welsh Rugby Union who’ve loaned us some artefacts from their collection.”

During last year’s celebration, the University unveiled a memorial on the University’s campus in the town to commemorate Rowland Williams’ contribution to Welsh rugby.  A special rugby fixture between the University and the invitational side, Welsh Academicals was also played.

 “The 2015 / 2016 rugby season was a very special one for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  It marked the 150th anniversary of the first competitive game of rugby played in Wales as well as noting Rowland Williams’ contribution to the sport,” says Dr Jeremy Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Performance at UWTSD

“It is our continued aim to raise awareness of Lampeter’s connection with the game whilst also allowing University staff and students, the people of Lampeter and rugby fans across Wales to find out more about its history and its origin,” he adds. 

“We are very proud of the University’s role in the development of rugby and are delighted to be celebrating Lampeter’s place in rugby history by being part of such an exciting digital project.”

To download the App, If you are reading these instructions on your phone, tap to visit http://legends.cymru  and use this QR code:

 Otherwise, please follow these 1,2,3 steps:

  1. If you have an Apple phone open the App Store on your device. Or, if you have an Android phone, open the Play Store on your device.
  2. In the search area, type in "Legends Chwedlau"
  1. Tap on the Get or Install button (you may be asked for your password). There is no charge for the app. When you then launch the app, you can select your preferred language and give the app permissions to use location and notifications so that it can show you the legends that are nearby.

Note to Editor