Laugharne sits on the banks of the Taf River in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. The Welsh town of Laugharne is where Dylan Thomas "got off the bus and never got on again.” Wales' most famous poet lived at the Boathouse for the last four years of his life during which time Dylan wrote major pieces of work - including Under Milk Wood.
However, Laugharne is more than just the town where Dylan Thomas lived, much more. It is an ancient town steeped in history sitting on the estuary of the River Taf. What was once a busy port is now popular with writers, artists, tourists, anglers, and bird-watchers. The town of Laugharne has an interesting mixture of small cottages and large Georgian houses. There is an active community, a newly built Millennium Memorial Hall and a Primary School. There are two mini-markets, a pharmacy, a good mix of shops, and great places to eat and drink including Brown's Public House where the Poet himself would have a pint...or two. Overlooking the estuary are the dramatic ruins of a Norman Castle.
Castles and Forts
Laugharne Castle was established in the early 12th century as an earthwork castle. It was sacked by the usual suspects, the Welsh, under the command of Prince Llywelyn the Great, and was rebuilt in stone by the Anglo-Norman de Brian family during the later 13th and early 14th centuries. Sir John Perrot later transformed it into a Tudor mansion in the 16th century. During the Civil War in 1644, Laugharne was captured by Royalists, but was quickly re-taken by besieging Roundheads. The castle suffered partial destruction soon afterwards and gradually fell into decay. It was left as a romantic ruin during the 18th century and at the turn of the 19th century the outer ward was laid with formal gardens. In the late 20th century the Castle has been the subject of considerable archaeological investigation and gradual restoration and, with the well-maintained Georgian and Victorian gardens, is open to the public from April to the end of September.
The Boathouse, where Dylan and Caitlin lived with their children, Aeronwy, Llewelyn and Colm from 1949 to 1953, is now a heritage centre. The house now contains audiovisual presentations, original furnishings and memorabilia, a themed bookshop, tearoom, viewing platform and terrace. Set in a cliff overlooking the glorious, 'heron priested' Taf Estuary the Boathouse offers a fascinating visit including memorabilia, interpretation, bookshop, and tearoom. Dylan Thomas' had a long term affinity with Laugharne ever since he visited with the poet Glyn Jones in 1934, by 1938 he lived in "Eros" in Gosport Street, then to "Sea View" until 1940. Dylan is buried in St. Martin's new churchyard and his grave is marked with a plain white cross.