Trinity University College

Trinity University College

Trinity University College:


Trinity University College (Welsh: Coleg Prifysgol y Drindod) was a Church University College in Carmarthen, Wales. In 2010, it merged with the University of Wales, Lampeter to become the new University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

The institution was founded in 1848 as the South Wales and Monmouthshire Training College.


Trinity University College began life in 1848 as the South Wales and Monmouthshire Training College, making it the oldest teacher training college in continuous operation in Wales. The college’s role was to train young men for teaching in Church primary schools. In the first year of operation, 22 students were recruited and were taught by three members of staff including the first Principal, William Reed. Walter Powell is recorded as the first student; he was 17, previously a draper and worked in a grocery store. The College required its students to follow a strict schedule which included getting up at half past six for a cold bath. Students were often recruited from humble backgrounds, and to remind them of this, the college curriculum included subjects such as gardening and woodwork. The students were expected to have a knowledge of grammar and arithmetic and received education in Latin and Greek. By 1936, the college also had an art block and a gym. The college also placed restrictions on the interaction with the local town, particularly with women and fines were issued for ‘girling’ (interaction with local women). The strict regime of college life was however broken for activities such as smoking and reading newspapers in the common rooms, musical concerts and entertainment. In the late Victorian era, photography became a great hobby at the college. In the inter-war era, the college gained a reputation for sports (which still exists to this day). The sports practiced at the college included, badminton, tennis and hockey. The main sport however was rugby, which has a strong tradition at Trinity and many past students have gone on to become great successes in the sport.

An account of college life in the 1930s is provided by ex-student George Head, who wrote that the Old Building and the Dewi Hostel combined contained all of the teaching rooms, a gymnasium, the library, the smoking room and common rooms, the secretary offices and the ‘Sick Ward’ and medical facilities. Church was still at this period a large part of the college life. Interaction with women was still forbidden and punishable. Head does however speak of how fond the students were of the college and how much they took away from it. In particular he recounts the old Trinity College Anthem called There is a tavern in the town

During the Second World War many students were expected to take ‘fire watches’ and serve as lookouts at night, although this job came with little danger in a town like Carmarthen. Many of the students at the college also joined the Home Guard and took part in drills. In 1938 a Broadcast room was constructed, the foundation stone being laid by the Duke of Kent.

In 1931, the College changed its name to Trinity College, Carmarthen. Female students were first admitted in 1957 and in 2009, the College achieved “university college” status, changing its name to Trinity University College.

College anthem

There is a tavern in the town, in the town

And there my true love settled down, settled down

She read her books so merrily

And never, never thought of me, thought of me.

We came from near and far then, unto Trinity Carmarthen

And we saddened as the days drew near to part, to part

We do, O Trinity, we do, we do, we do

Regard thee with affection true, affection true

I’ll hang my hat on the Old Oak Tree,

And may the world go well with thee, well with thee.

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