Laugharne Castle

shakey

Hyde, United Kingdom

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Laugharne Castle ,Carmarthenshire,Wales.

Re-opened to the public in the July of 1996 after twenty years of extensive excavation and restoration, Laugharne castle stands on a low ridge overlooking the wide Taf river estuary and perhaps is today better know for its associations with the poet Dylan Thomas instead for its picturesque location. One of a string of fortresses controlling the ancient road of communication along the south Wales coast line the castle as a long and chequered history. It was originated as a Norman earth and timber stronghold, mentioned in about 1116 as the castle of Robert Courtemain, (but the first record of the Norman castle is dated 1189), re-built in stone during the 13th and 14th centuries by the various successive generations of the de Brian family. Great parts of their works still survive, including the domed round keep tower and the protuding mighty gatehouse of the inner bailey constructed in a warm red-brown sandstone with distinctive green stone addictions.

In the year 1488 the lordship and castle passed to the earls of Northumberland, and in 1584 to Sir John Parrott, said to have been the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. The castle was converted into a luxurious Elizabethan manor house by Perrot and reverted to its military functions only during the Civil War: after a week long siege and bombardment, it fell to a night attack of the Parliamentarian troops in the year 1644. In the following centuries the romantic ruins of Laugharne castle became the backdrop for a magnificent Georgian and Victorian garden, recreated using exclusively Victorian flowers and plants.

Laugharne has also inspired two great modern writers, who worked in the garden gazebo overlooking the river. Richard Hughes wrote its novel ‘In Hazard’ here and Dylan Thomas, Laugharne most famous resident, worked in the castle on its ‘Portrait of the artist as a young dog’.

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