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Welsh Icons - Towns & Villages

Welsh Icons
About Wales

and all things Welsh





Photograph © Canon David K. Edwards.

Laugharne (Welsh: Talacharn) is a town in Carmarthenshire, Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Taf. It is known for having been the home of Dylan Thomas from 1949 until his death in 1953, and is thought to have been an inspiration for the fictional town of Llareggub (�Bugger all� - backwards) in Under Milk Wood.

Laugharne Corporation is an almost unique institution in the United Kingdom. Still in operation today, the Corporation was established in 1291 by Sir Guy de Brian, a Marcher Lord. The Corporation is presided over by the Portreeve, wearing his traditional chain of gold cockle shells, the Aldermen, and the body of Burgesses. Courts are held on a regular basis, where administration of the common fields is dealt with.

The Laugharne open field system is one of only two surviving and still in use today in Britain. Customs associated with the Corporation include the Common walk, held every three years. This event is attended by most of the young and firm local population, their number swelled by many visitors. The local pubs open at approx 5.00 in the morning, and following a liquid breakfast the throng commence a trek of some 25 miles around the boundaries of the Corporation lands. At significant historical landmarks a victim is selected to name the place. If they cannot answer, they are hoisted upside down and beaten three times on the rear.

The cockle industry was once a significant part of the Laugharne economy, and the well-established pickling firm Parsonshave their origins in Laugharne. The Laugharne accent is interesting, sounding like a mix of Devon with Carmarthenshire Welsh. Many local words and phrases are archaic: e.g. "How art thee maid?" Architecturally, Laugharne contains many fine examples of Georgian townhouses, with a scattering of earlier vernacular cottages. Attractions in the town include the 12th-century Laugharne Castle, the town hall and the birdlife of the estuary.

 Museum: Dylan Thomas Boathouse

 The Brown's Hotel
       King Street
       SA33 4RY
       01994 427320

 Carpenters Arms
       SA33 4NS
       01994 427435

 Corporation Arms Hotel
       1 Gosport Street
       SA33 4SY

 The Cross House
       Grist Square
       SA33 4SS
       01994 427923

 New Three Mariners Inn
       Victoria Street
       SA33 4SE
       01994 427426

 The Under Milk Wood
       Grist Square
       SA33 4SS
       01994 427277

 Rugby: Laugharne RFC

 The Boat House B&B
       1 Gosport Street
       SA33 4SY 
 01994 427263
 01994 427263
 [email protected]

 Fern Hill Orchard B&B
       New Bridge Road
       SA33 4SJ 
 01994 427689
 01994 427689
 [email protected]

llustration(s) or photograph(s) viewable Photographs © Bob S and Canon David K. Edwards.
       Click any image for a larger view.

Dylan Thomas� Shed

Dylan Thomas� Shed

 Laugharne Estuary

Laugharne Boathouse

Laugharne Castle



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This Month

March 2nd

JPR Williams (Rugby player) born 1949 in Cardiff

March 5th

Freddie Welsh (boxer) born 1886 in Pontypridd

March 19th

Julien Macdonald (fasion designer) born 1972 in Merthyr Tydfil

March 29th

RS Thomas (poet) born 1913 in Cardiff