Set low by the estuary of the Taf, Laugharne Castle is still dramatic with its red stone walls. The Normans chose a site that could be reinforced from the sea when they arrived just after 1100. In the centuries of war it fell to the lord Rhys in 1189, to Llywelyn the Great in 1215 and Llywelyn the Last in 1257. In this last attack the Norman lord, Guy de Brian was captured and his castle burnt. The two big round towers inside survive from before the capture. His son, also Guy, built the outer walls in the 1280s to a diamond plan with a gatehouse at the south. Another Guy was Edward III’s adviser. He improved the outer and inner gatehouses in the 1380s. When the castle was falling into disuse it was revived as a Tudor house by Sir John Perrot of Carew Castle, unfinished when he was disgraced in 1591 and sent to die in the Tower of London. The interior became a pleasure garden in the eighteenth century and remains one. Dylan Thomas wrote in the gazebo that overlooks the water. Between the two round towers of the inner castle are the ruins of Perrot’s Elizabethan house, tall but modest compared to what he built at Carew.
Laugharne Castle is in the care of Cadw and admission charges are payable. The Castle is situated in the village of Laugharne, on the A4066 from St Clears where on street parking is usually available. Guide books are available in the castle shop.
Most sites are closed on 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January. Last admission to this site is thirty minutes before closing.
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