The Castle at Laugharne has a history dating back to 1116 AD when it was first constructed for Robert Courtemain. The original castle that stood on the site is believed to have burnt down around 1189. It was rebuilt by the Normans around 1196 only to be captured in 1215 by Llywelyn the Great on his rampage across South Wales. By the 13th century it was owned by the de Brian family and in 1584 Elizabeth I gave the current Laugharne Castle to Sir John Parrott who is thought to have been an illegitimate Son of Henry VIII. Although the castle was in ruins, Sir John Parrott set about turning it into a Tudor mansion. He wasn’t to enjoy it for very long as seven years later in 1591 he was found guilty of high treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London where he remained until his death a year later.
Laugharne Castle has a complex history and was held by both Royalists and Roundheads during the English Civil War and in 1644 the Castle was so badly damaged by Cannon fire that it was left in ruins.
During the 18th Century the Castle grounds were landscaped establishing a tranquil environment somewhat at odds with their history.
Visiting Laugharne Castle does require a detour away from the beaten tourist track but is one that is worth taking as Laugharne is one of the most attractive towns in Carmarthenshire, Wales. It marks the mouth of the River Taf and is known for having been the home of Dylan Thomas who lived there from 1949 until his death in 1953. The town is thought to be the inspiration behind the fictitious town Llareggub, featured in the BBC radio drama ‘Under Milk Wood’ broadcast in 1954. Written by Dylan Thomas the play examines the dreams and regrets of the inhabitants of a small Welsh village. It’s worth noting that ‘Llareggub’ is actually ‘Bugger All’ spelt backwards. This is a part of the country well worth exploring with the Mumbles only a short distance away as well as the seaside town of Tenby and Milford Haven to the west.
Although the castle itself has no significant ghost stories, the area just outside its boundaries does. There used to be a large pit to the west of the gatehouse which is said to be the haunt of a water spirit but the area is most well-known for its historic sightings of the Gwyglli – a frightening ‘dog of darkness’. If you saw the red eyes of the beast you were sure to experience great misfortune and probably die. A version of this same creature was featured in the ‘Harry Potter’ series of books but was called The Grim.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Dwr Cwmwdig Berea, St Davids, Haverfordwest
Pembrokeshire, Wales, SA62 6DW
+44 (0)1348 831 376
- Address: The Grist (Street), Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom, SA33 4SS
- GPS: 51.76946667,-4.462
- Phone: 0044 (0) 1994 427 906
- Part of UK: Wales
- Sat Nav Postcode: SA33 4SS
- Entrance Fees: Yes
- Disabled Access: No dedicated disabled parking / Tower climb not accessible for wheelchair users.
- Visibility from Road: Excellent
- Image Credits: Header Image: Stuart H