Laugharne castle, a fine example of a Norman fortification, probably founded in the early 12th century as a earth and timber fortification, though as it now stands dates from the mid to late 13th century. The castle was later adapted to provide stylish living accomodation. In the 13th and 14th centuries it was the home of the de Brian family. Much of the castle survives with it's two large towers, and gatehouse. The transformation of the castle into living accomodation was by Sir John Perrot, who was granted Laugharne by Elizabeth 1 in 1584. The castle saw action during the Civil War, after which it declined into a ruin.
The original castle was established by 1116 as the castle of Robert Courtemain, who is recorded to have entrusted its care to the Welshman Bleddyn ap Cedifor. The castle also was the meeting place of Henry II of England with Rhys ap Gruffudd in 1171-1172, were they agreed a treaty of peace. When Henry II of England died in 1189 the castle along with St Clears and llansteffan were seized by Rhys ap Gruffudd of Deheubarth in 1189, Laugharne Castle may have been burnt down at this time.
The Castle was rebuilt by the Normans and in 1215 was captured by Llywelyn the great in his campaign across South Wales.
By 1247 Laugharne was granted to the de Brian family. In 1257 Guy De Brian was captured at Laugharne Castle by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and the castle destroyed.
It was in Laugharne in 1403 that Glyndwr's rebellion stalled. Perhaps lulled into complacency, he was tricked by an ambush and lost 700 men. When a local soothsayer then warned him to leave the area or be captured, he retreated. After this the rebellion petered out under the weight of greater English numbers, and by 1415, Owain Glyndwr had disappeared, fading into myth.
In 1584, Elizabeth I granted Laugharne to Sir John Parrott, said to have been the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.
During the Civil War, Laugharne was captured by Royalists in 1644, the Parliamentary forces of Major-General Rowland Laugharne attacked the castle in 1644. After a week long siege in which much of the castle was damaged by cannon-fire, the Royalist garrison finally surrendered. The castle was slighted to prevent any further use. . 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. The gazebo overlooking the estuary was used in the 1930s and 40s by the author Richard Hughes, who leased Castle House during this period. 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'.
6 November 2017 - 23 March 2018
For yearly opening times please click 'View all visitor information'
24 March - 4 November 2018Daily 10am - 5pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Adult - £4.00
Family - £11.90*
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 - £2.60
Disabled and companion - Am ddim/Free
*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16
All children under 5 receive free entry.
Prices valid until March 2018
Most sites are closed on 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January. Full details are available from Cadw Site Operations Unit, tel. 01443 336000. Last admission to this site is thirty minutes before closing.