Lions tourist James Hook scored the game's solitary try with 58 minutes on the clock, with the Perpignan-bound playmaker weaving his way over from close range.
England dominated possession and territory but Wales were outstanding in defence as Martin Johnson's men failed to make the most of a glut of chances.
Skipper Sam Warburton and blindside flanker Dan Lydiate were at the forefront of an astonishing Welsh tackle count that topped 170 - almost double that of England.
And unlike Martin Johnson's RBS 6 Nations Champions, Wales made their limited time in opposition territory count. Hook added two penalties and a conversion after switching to fly-half after the interval, with his predecessor Rhys Priestland having ensured Wales entered the break on level terms as he matched Toby Flood's brace of three pointers.
England turned down a number of shots at goal in favour of a push for the tryline but their backline lacked imagination, even if Matt Banahan should have scored early on having come into the side for the injured Chris Ashton.
Wales had 2009 Lions Jamie Roberts sinbinned on 41 and 70 minutes respectively but their defence held firm in a game that Johnson described as 'one of the strangest I've seen'.
England now have a week off competitive action before travelling to Dublin to face Ireland on August 27, while Wales host Argentina in Cardiff this coming Saturday.
It wasn't all good news for Warren Gatland and Wales, though, as both Gavin Henson and Priestland left the field injured.
Henson, who is looking to make his first World Cup squad having missed out in 2003 and 2007, now faces a scan on his right wrist, with Priestland nursing a knock to his left thigh.