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LAUGHARNE CASTLE

Site Details



NPRN 95634

Map Reference SN31SW

Grid Reference SN3021610736

Unitary (Local) Authority Carmarthenshire

Old County Carmarthenshire

Community Laugharne Township

Type of Site CASTLE

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description The castle of Laugharne was built by the Anglo-Normans in the early twelfth century and is probably mentioned in 1116. This early castle was a relatively small 'ringwork' enclosure resting on the river cliff above the estuary to the south. The castle was extensively rebuilt in the later twelfth century, but the existing ruins are thirteenth century and later, when a great towered masonry castle was built and remodelled, being recast as a magnificent renaissance mansion in the late sixteenth century.

The thirteenth century castle consisted of a small inner court, ditched about and stoutly walled and with two great circular towers, great emblems of lordship. This court was set within a larger diamond plan outer court with a great gatehouse at its northern apex (NPRN 309113) facing into the walled borough that had by now been established on the castle's landward side (NPRN 33066). The castle was beleaguered, battered, stormed and slighted, in the revolutionary wars of the mid seventeenth century, and was thereafter abandoned as a residence. In the early nineteenth century the castle grounds were landscaped as a picturesque garden (NPRN 79039) attached to Castle House (NPRN 17184), an earlier eighteenth century mansion built on the site of the late sixteenth century castle gardens. The gazebo overlooking the estuary (NPRN 23036) was a feature of this early nineteenth century garden.

The castle has recently been excavated, consolidated and otherwise prepared for public view.There appears to have been an earlier settlement on the site as the excavations encountered gullies and postholes sealed by a ploughsoil containing abraded Romano-British pottery sherds.

Source: CADW Guide to Laugharne Castle (1995)

John Wiles, RCAHMW, 29 January 2008

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