Laugharne Castle, nestled in the charming town of Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, Wales, is a historic medieval castle with a rich and fascinating history. Perched on the banks of the River Taf, it offers visitors a glimpse into the past and a unique architectural experience.
The origins of Laugharne Castle can be traced back to the Norman period, when a timber fortification was built on the site. However, the castle as it stands today dates mainly from the 13th century, with later modifications and additions made over the centuries.
Laugharne Castle played a significant role in the conflicts and power struggles that characterised Welsh and English history. It changed hands multiple times between the Welsh and the English, with the castle being captured and fortified by both sides.
One of the most notable figures associated with Laugharne Castle is Sir John Perrot, who served as the Lord Deputy of Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Perrot extensively renovated the castle in the late 16th century, transforming it into a grand Tudor mansion. The castle became a lavish residence, complete with elegant gardens and comfortable living quarters.
The castle’s unique architecture is a blend of medieval and Tudor styles. The sturdy stone walls and towers of the original fortress remain, showcasing the medieval defensive features. However, the presence of large windows, ornate fireplaces, and decorative elements reflects the Tudor influence and the castle’s transition into a comfortable dwelling.
One of the most striking features of Laugharne Castle is its magnificent gatehouse, which still stands in remarkable condition. The gatehouse is an imposing structure, featuring a grand entrance arch, sturdy portcullis slots, and arrow loops for defence. It offers visitors a glimpse into the castle’s medieval past and showcases the defensive prowess of the time.
The castle’s location is equally enchanting, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and the scenic estuary of the River Taf. The estuary provides breathtaking views and adds to the castle’s charm and allure.
In addition to its historical and architectural significance, Laugharne Castle holds literary importance. It was in Laugharne that the renowned Welsh poet Dylan Thomas found inspiration for his work. The town and the castle are mentioned in his famous play “Under Milk Wood,” which immortalises the beauty and character of the area.
Today, Laugharne Castle is managed by CADW, the Welsh government’s historic environment service, and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the castle’s grounds, climb the towers, and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Interpretive panels provide information about the castle’s history and its notable residents.
The castle also hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, including re-enactments, art displays, and cultural festivals. These events bring the castle to life and offer visitors a chance to experience the vibrant history and heritage of the site.
Laugharne Castle continues to captivate visitors with its historical significance, architectural beauty, and literary connections. It stands as a testament to the turbulent past of Wales and provides a window into the lives of the people who inhabited it. A visit to Laugharne Castle is a journey through time, where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create a truly unforgettable experience.
Laugharne Castle, King Street, Laugharne, Carmarthen. SA33 4FA
- Monday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Tuesday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Wednesday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thursday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sunday10:00 am - 5:00 pm
These are the peak summer opening times.
Other times may vary. For full details please visit the CADW website.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Closed 24th, 25th, 26th December and 1st January.