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Medieval And Later Borough, Laugharne;lacharn

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Map ReferenceSN31SW
Grid ReferenceSN3019810832
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
CommunityLaugharne Township
Type Of SiteTOWN
The coastal town of Laugharne (Lacharn) is situated immediately west of the Taf estuary. Other names for the town include Abercorran (the smaller Corran river runs through the town) and Talacharn. St Martin's Church (NPRN 102141) is known to date to the medieval period, and is thought to possibly be sited on an Iron Age cist cemetary. An annual fair and borough charter, dating to 1278, were granted by Guy De Brian IV (or De Brienne), first of the De Brian lords. Today, the Laugharne Corporation is the last suriving medieval corporation in the UK. The charter makes provision for two Portreeves or port wardens, and the post continues through the corporation. The harbour name, 'Gosport' (NPRN 519122) is shown on historic charts, but the harbour itself is now largely silted up. Formerly a walled medieval borough, the town has an early twelfth century castle (NPRN 95634), situated on the western bank of the River Taf. The castle is one of a series that were built at strategic points along the 'Landsker line' (a frontier of castles which stretched across the southern half of Pembrokeshire). This influenced the language and architecture of the township which is English speaking in a predominantly Welsh speaking part of Wales. An open field system (NPRN 308928) and strip field system (NPRN 401707), probably associated with the borough, are located to the south and east of St Martin's Church (strip fields) and some 900m south-west of St Martin's Church (open fields). The town has a long association with the cockle industry, the cockles being harvested from the estuary mud flats. The castle was converted to a Tudor mansion by Sir John Perrot. It was partially demolished during a civil war siege.

Laugharne is known for having been the home of Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), Welsh poet and playwright, from 1949 until his death. The town is thought to have been an inspiration for the fictional town of Llareggub in 'Under Milk Wood'. Dylan Thomas's Boathouse (NPRN 17122) is located some 500m upstream of the castle. Dylan Thomas is buried in the churchyard of St Martin's Church (NPRN 418571).

Sources include:
Lloyd, T, Orbach, J and Scourfield, R, 2006, The Buildings of Wales: Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion

RCAHMW, 2009.

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