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Carmarthen

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Carmarthen (Welsh Caerfyrddin - caer fort + Myrddin Moridunum, Merlin (origin disputed)) is the county town of Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is on the River Tywi and has a population of about 20,000.

When Britannia was a Roman province, Carmarthen was the civitas known as Moridunum (meaning sea fort) of the Celtic tribe known as the Demetae. Carmarthen is possibly the oldest town in Wales and was recorded by Ptolemy and in the Antonine Itinerary. The roman fort can be seen still and is believed to date from AD75-77.

The strategic importance of Carmarthen was such that the Norman William fitz Baldwin built Carmarten  castle probably around 1094. The existing castle site is known to have been used since 1105. The castle was destroyed by Llywelyn the Great in 1215. In 1223 Carmarten  castle was rebuilt and permission was received to wall the town (a murage). Carmarthen was probably the first mediaeval walled town in Wales. In 1405 the town was taken and the castle was sacked by Owain Glyndŵr.

In the 16th and 17th centuries the dominant business of Carmarthen was still agriculture and related trades including woollen manufacture. In the mid 18th century the iron and coal trades became much more important although Carmarthen never developed Ironworks on the scale of Dowlais or Merthyr Tydfil.

The famous Black book of Carmarthen, written around 1250AD, is associated with the town's Priory of St. John the Evangelist and Teulyddog.

Carmarthen was made a county corporate by charter of James I in 1604. The charter decreed that Carmarthen should be known as the 'Town of the County of Carmarthen' and should have two sheriffs. This was reduced to one sheriff in 1835, and the (now largely ceremonial) post continues to this day.

Carmarthen hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1867, 1911 and 1974 although, at least in the case of the 1974 Eisteddfod, the Maes was at Abergwili.

According to some variants of the Arthurian legend Merlin was born in a cave outside Carmarthen, with many noting that Merlin may be an anglicised form of Myrddin. Historians generally disagree with this interpretation of the name, preferring that Myrddin is a corruption of the Roman name, but the story is popular. Many areas surrounding Carmarthen still allude to this, such as the nearby Bryn Myrddin (Merlin's Hill).

Legend also had it that when a particular tree called 'Merlin's Oak' fell it would be the downfall of the town as well. In order to stop this the tree was dug up when it died and pieces are now in the museum. The occasional flooding of the appropriately-named Water Street has been attributed to ongoing redevelopment of the area.

The Black book of Carmarthen includes poems with references to Myrddin (Ymddiddan Myrddin a Thaliesin) and possibly to Arthur (Pa ŵr yw'r Porthor?). The interpretation of these is difficult because the Arthur legend was already known by this time, and many details of the modern form of the legend had been described by Geoffrey of Monmouth before the book was written. In addition some of the stories appear to have been moved into Wales at some point before their recording in the book.

Modern day Carmarthen is a midsized town of around 20,000 people. It is served by rail links through Swansea to Cardiff. Carmarthen has a large amount of surviving history including the roman amphitheatre and the castle . The Gwili Railway, a section of the former railway line to Aberystwyth, has been re-opened as a heritage railway for tourists. Carmarthen is the site of Trinity College Carmarthen. It also accommodates the headquarters of Dyfed-Powys Police.

Carmarthen has a large proportion of Welsh speakers, with the county of Carmarthenshire as a whole boasting the largest population of such by number (the largest Welsh-speaking population by proportion is in Gwynedd). Although Carmarthen is on navigable water the harbour sees no commercial use, in part due to the treacherous approaches.

Carmarthen is twinned with Lesneven, France, Santa Marinella, Italy and As Pontes, Spain.

 Trains: Carmarthen is on the West Wales Line

 Libraries:
 Carmarthen Public Library
       St Peterís Street
       Carmarthen
       SA31 1LN
       01267 224830

 Farmers Markets:
 Carmarthen Farmers Market
       Town Centre
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA31 3DX
       9.am-1pm First Friday each month
       01550 777 244

 Cinemas:
 Lyric
       King's Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1BD
       http://www.carmarthenonline.co.uk/lyric/

 Rugby: Carmarthen Athletic RFC
 Rugby: Carmarthen Quins RFC

 Football: Carmarthen Town FC

 Tourist Information Centre

 Telephone:

01267 231557

 Fax:

01267 221901

 Email:

[email protected]

 Address:

113 Lammas Street
Carmarthen
SA31 3AQ

 Hours:

Summer Monday - Saturday  10:00 - 17:00
Winter
Monday - Saturday  10:00 - 16:15

 Pubs/Bars:
 Blue Boar Inn
       3 Blue Boar Inn Water Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1PY
       01267 236343

 Boars Head Hotel
       Lammas Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3AD

 Castle Hotel
       138 Priory Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1LR
       01267233735

 Cheers
       Barn Road
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1DE
       01267220215

 Falcon Hotel
       Lammas Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3AP

 The Golden Lion Hotel
       Lammas Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3AP
       01267236333

 Granbys
       32 King Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1BS
       01267 222652

 Hollybrook Tavern
       Bronwydd
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 6BE
       01267233521

 The Jolly Tar
       The Quay
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3LN
       01267 223946

 The Kings Arms Hotel
       103 Priory Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1NB

 Legends
       72 Water Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1PZ
       01267 236454

 Mansel Arms
       Mansel Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1QX
       01267 236385

 The New King George Inn
       123 Priory Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1NB
       01267 232322

 Golf:
 Carmarthen Golf Club
       Blaen y Coed Road
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA33 6EH
       01267 281588

 Taxis:
 Imperial Taxis
       58 Ross Avenue
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1HX
       01267 233311

 Magpie Taxis
       3 Heol Disgwylfa
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1TE
       01267 235510

 Noel's Taxis
       23 Pentrefelin St
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1SB
       01267 223303

 Vets:
 Fair Lane Veterinary Centre
       Fair Lane
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1RX
       01267 237367

 A Davies
       Waunolau
       Fawr Meidrim
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 5PQ
       01994 484266

 Ark Veterinary Group
       5 Mansel St
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1QX
       01267 237096

 B&B's/Guesthouses
 Ty Castell - The Home of the Kingfisher
       Station Road
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA32 7LQ 
 01267 290034
 01267 290034
 [email protected]
 http://www.ty-castell.co.uk

 Ricketts Mill B&B
       Ricketts Mill
       Llysonnen Road
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA33 5EN 
 01267 211803
 01267 211803
 [email protected]
 http://www.rickettsmill.co.uk

 New Park Hotel
       Lammas Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3AP

 New Stags Head
       Red Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1QL
       01267 236711

 Plough & Harrow
       Henfwlch Road
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 6AA

 Plume & Feathers Inn
       St Marys Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1TN
       01267 235839

 Queens Hotel
       10 Queen Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA3 1JR
       01267 231800

 The Red Lion
       2 Red Lion Priory Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1LS

 Rock & Fountain Inn
       Cynwyl Road
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 6AR

 Rose & Crown Hotel
       Lammas Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3AE
       01267281398

 Stag & Pheasant
       34 Spillman Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1LQ
       01267 236278

 Tanners Arms
       Barn Road
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1QU
       01267237022

 Three Salmon
       Water Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1PY
       01267 233577

 Y Ceffyl Du
       Water Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1RG
       01267 236940

 Yr Hen Dderwan
       47/48 King Street
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1BH

 Derllys Golf Club
       Llysonnen Road
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA33 5DT
       01267 211575

 Spikes Taxis
       103 Park Hall
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1JG
       01267 236405

 Steve's Taxis
       29 Lammas St
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 3AL
       01267 233846

 Tiger Cabs
       14 Abbey Mead
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 2EN
       01267 221710

 J.H Davies
       Ffawydd
       Meidrim
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA33 5PL
       01994 484351

 Dyffryn Tywi Equine Clinic
       Lletty Farm
       Nantgaredig
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA32 7NP
       01267 290890

 Merlin Veterinary Group
       4 St Catherine St
       Carmarthen
       Dyfed
       SA31 1RE
       01267 236523

 Dolwerdd B&B
       Dolwerdd
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA31 3QL 
 01267 237222
 01267 237222
 [email protected]
 http://www.dolwerdd.com

 Penty Farm B&B
       Llanddarog Road
       Carmarthen
       Carmarthenshire
       SA32 8BG 
 01267 275440
 01267 275440
 [email protected]

 

 

The images below are by lhourahane.
 To view a larger image, just click on the image

The town of Carmarthen as seen from the new footbridge.

County Hall, Carmarthen

Rebecca Riots plaque

Boars Head Hotel, Carmarthen

Royal Welch Fusiliers Monument, Carmarthen

Royal Welch Fusiliers Monument Inscription, Carmarthen

English Baptist Chapel, Carmarthen

English Baptist Chapel columns, Carmarthen

Carmarthen Marker

Zion Chapel, Mansel Street, Carmarthen

Carmarthen Fleur de Lys

Chapel in Carmarthen

Chapel Inscription, Carmarthen

Carmarthen Provision Market entrance

Carmarthen Market clock tower

Carmarthen Market - by Royal appointment

Inside Carmarthen Market

Carmarthen Market hats

Guildhall, Carmarthen

Boer War Memorial, Carmarthen

Boer War Memorial inscription, Carmarthen

Old and new bank, Carmarthen

Fancy a Carmarthen cuppa?

Carmarthen's new footbridge

Carmarthen and Egypt

A Carmarthen Curator

Nott Square, Carmarthen

Plume of Feathers pub, Carmarthen

Carmarthen Castle

Chocolate Cafe, Carmarthen

Furnace House, Carmarthen

Furnace House plaque, Carmarthen

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen

Carmarthen School of Art

St. Peter's Church, Carmarthen

Old Carmarthen Chemist

Nott Statue, Carmarthen

A Carmarthen Martyr


 

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