Brocante Trail in Carmarthenshire
It’s all very well, the Antiques Roadshow, 'Flog It!' and so on, but sometimes it can feel as though no stone is left unturned when looking for antiques or collectors’ items in Britain.
The joy of hunting for treasure in Carmarthenshire, however, is that there are still stones left unturned and every so often you will find a real gem of a place. We deliberately haven’t called this an Antiques Trail because half the fun is picking over the bits and pieces in what the French would called brocante shops - and it’s not exactly vintage either because some of the things we mention are newly made using an old tradition, or reinterpreting a centuries-old craft for 21st century tastes.
So, welcome to Carmarthenshire’s Brocante Trail - we hope you enjoy your discoveries. These types of businesses come and go so do let us know if you have a similar business you would like to be featured, or if you discover any other places we should know about.
2 Jacksons Lane (off King Street), Carmarthen.
In the heart of Carmarthen seek out Audrey Bull for good quality period and Welsh country furniture. There are general antiques, including porcelain, paintings and silver. Specialists in antique, second hand and gemset jewellery.
Opening: Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm.
Byd Keith - Keiths world
8 College Street, Ammanford SA18 3AF.
Second hand furniture bought and sold plus welsh blankets and musical instruments. A real Aladdins den!
Carmarthen Antiques Centre
56-57 Priory Street. SatNav SA311NU.
facebook.com / carmarthenantiques
40 trade stands all under one roof selling: antique and vintage furniture, books and ephemera, collectable toys and games, kitchenalia, mantiques, tools and salvage, vintage clothes and jewellery, china and glass, Welsh blankets and quilts, art and sculpture, all things up cycled and shabby chic, rustic, romantic and practical ware, clocks and barometers, rugs AND Welsh and local interest items! We're famous for our great prices and excellent customer service!
135 Rhosmaen Street, Llandeilo SA19 6EN.
01558 822386 cofforbach.co.uk
Those on the hunt for some traditional Welsh antiques should look no further than Coffor Bach, which sells a range of unique furniture items and charming gifts. Stocking a range of antique Welsh furniture and smaller trinkets for the home, this shop is great for those looking for a true slice of Welsh charm.
Corran Book Shop
King Street, Laugharne.
This is the place to come after a drink in the newly refurbished Browns Hotel over the road (another of Dylan’s drinking dens) because the owner, George Tremlett, is a fount of knowledge about not just Dylan Thomas but other authors who lived in Laugharne - Richard Hughes, for instance, who lived near the castle and wrote 'Under the Volcano,' among other things. He also has many books on local and Welsh subjects and a fine selection of general literature in his piled up shop.
Opening: Monday to Saturday 10 am - 6 pm.
Caerau Croft, Mynyddcerrig, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA15 5AU.
CP Antiques is a restoration and retail company dealing in period pine & oak, as well as period upholstered soft furnishings. At the workshop you can also find leather Chesterfields, period clocks, vintage telephones and even rocking horses.
Opening: Friday and Saturday only, 10 am - 5 pm, or by appointment.
Elvet Woolen Mill
Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthen SA33 6TS.
Elvet Woollen Mill is a family run business, set in the heart of rural West Wales with a history dating back over 120 years. Today, the Mill is owned and run by the Tolputt family and its continued existence is due to their versatility and ability to suit market trends. By working directly with wool growers, especially those managing rare breeds, Elvet Woollen Mill can manufacture a variety of products using natural wool with traceable origins.
Opening: Not open to the public but you can view by appointment. Ring on 01267 281336 to arrange a viewing, or the products from the website can be purchased via email or telephone order. See elvetwoollenmill.com
Emlyn Antiques Centre
New Road, Newcastle Emlyn.
30 dealers under one roof selling a wide variety of antiques, collectibles, memorabilia, jewellery, vintage clothing, welsh blankets, reclamation, musical instruments, furniture and bric-a-brac and much more.
Opening: Monday to Saturday 9am - 5pm. Sunday 10am - 4pm.
Got a vintage sweet tooth? No one can resist Heavenly, run by former hoteliers Paul and Tracey Kindred from a pretty Georgian house on Llandeilo’s steep main street. It has walls lined with vintage sweet jars and top of the old-fashioned bestseller list are Grandad Liquorice, Dolly Mixtures, Cherry Lips, aniseed balls and, of course, sherbet fountains. That’s if you can resist the not-at-all vintage homemade ice cream on offer behind the counter, or stop yourself nipping through to the cake display at the back: not only are the cakes outrageously eye-catching, they’re all made on the premises. Do nip back again: there’s always a little plate of something to sample.
Opening: Monday to Thursday 9.30am - 5pm, Friday and Saturday 9.30am - 5.30pm and Sunday 11am - 4pm.
Jones and Llewelyn Auctioneers
Llandeilo Auction Rooms, Station Road, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire SA19 6NG.
Established in 1948, Jones and Llewelyn Auctioneers have just moved to new larger premises in Llandeilo where they hold regular auctions every other weekend. The auction house is a great place to buy antique and vintage furniture, as well as fine art, pottery and other items. Viewing tends to be on the days before an auction, Visit the website for the auction calendar and catalogues.
Opening: Auctions are twice monthly on Saturdays with viewings the day before (3-7pm) and on the morning of the sale (typically before 10am).
Melin Teifi Woollen Mill
This traditional mill is right next to the National Wool Museum (see Heritage Trail) in the old Cambrian Mills building, providing a direct link from the 19th century woollen industry in Carmarthenshire to today. Not only that, its owners Raymond and Diane Jones both worked in the Cambrian Mills for 18 years before it closed in 1982. They produce a range of traditional smocks and shirts in plain and patterned flannel - this is what men and women would have worn, but in more sombre tones - and Welsh blankets in the bold geometric patterns and vibrant colours that first appeared in the 1950s. They work mainly to commission (3-4 weeks delivery time) but also stock a small selection of garments: expect to pay from £35 for a smock and from £14 per metre for woollen cloth. There’s a small exhibition about the industry that once ruled the Teifi Valley and you can watch the looms work from a suspended walkway.
Opening: Summer, Monday to Saturday 10 am - 5 pm. Winter, same hours but Monday to Friday only.
Peter Francis Auctioneer
Towyside Salerooms, Old Station Road, Carmarthen.
Auctions are regularly held in Carmarthen - check the website for auction calendar. Auction viewing is often on the weekend before the auction and the stock includes everything from fine furniture, paintings, art, ceramics and objet dar’t.
Opening: Monday to Friday 9am - 1pm then 2pm - 5pm. Saturday 9.30am - 12pm
Red Giraffe Studio
Castle Hotel, Kings Road, Llandovery SA20 0AP.
This studio is an eclectic mix of old and new and is now located within The Castle Hotel in the heart of Llandovery. Owner, Fiona Walker, manages to combine beautiful art and design from across Africa where she lived for many years, with more local pieces sourced across across the county. There is a particular fine collection of antique Welsh wool blankets, local art, new and old, as well as tasty local tipples including Red Squirrel beer.
Opening: Monday to Saturday 9am - 6pm. Sunday 10.30am - 3pm.
Rob Thomas Reclaimation
This business has been based in Carmarthen for 30 years and is passionate about the reclaiming and reuse of architectural salvage. This is the place to find reclaimed Welsh slate, timber floors as well as antiques, Victorian fireplaces, industrial lighting, chapel chairs and pews, butler sinks, the list is endless. It is the perfect place to dig around if you are embarking on a house renovation or refurbishment - and don’t worry if you car isn’t big enough for your purchases, they deliver UK wide. The company is based in Carmarthen and viewing is by appointment only.
Second Hand Rose
Carmarthen Indoor Market, Carmarthen.
This family-run business has traded in Carmarthen market since 1983, specialising in buying and selling antique, vintage and second-hand jewellery, including costume jewellery, silver, gold and platinum. They also sell china, silverware and vintage clothing.
Opening: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30 am - 4.30 pm.
30A King Street,
Carmarthen SA31 1BS.
An Aladdin’s cave of treasures and hidden above a craft shop, Shabby Clic sells a variety of 're-loved' furniture, paintings and handmade home decorations created by the store’s owner, Lotte. Described as a 'rehab for all things retro', the store is a fantastic treasure trove for those something for a little more 'quirky' for their home, old or new; with a good collection of items from local crafters also available.
The Works Antiques Centre
Steve Watts and Jon Storey have been running this rambling gallery of dealers - now 55 of them - near Llandeilo railway station for 12 years, in a building that has housed everything from steel bellows to a World War II gas mask factory. Amongst the wonderful jumble of pieces, from a crocodile handbag and a barometer to a stuffed fox and an antique fan, you will find a wide range of ceramics, including figurines in traditional Welsh clothes and tall hats. Locked in a cabinet is a Ewenny vase, price £800, from the famous Ewenny Pottery near Bridgend that has been in the same family for eight generations (the village used to have 12 potteries). Also look out for Welsh dressers holding the cheery porcelain tableware made in the Staffordshire Potteries specifically for the Welsh market and known as 'Welsh Gaudy' - all bright colours and floral patterns - or gleaming, shiny lusterware. While you’re there, you might pick up a coin, a doll or a pair of opera glasses as well, and then you can have coffee in the new Vintage Coffee Shop in the little flower market around the back.
Opening: Mondays in summer and Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5.30pm, Sunday 10am - 4.30 pm, year round. Bank Holiday Mondays 10am - 4.30pm.
Tim Bowen Antiques
Across the Towy Estuary from Dylan Thomas’s boathouse at Laugharne is the little village of Ferryside, which stretches from the village centre south to a hillside where generously proportioned houses look out to sea. Between these and the railway sits Tim Bowen Antiques, a freshly painted grey clapboard house that looks as though it might have landed from New England. It is filled with elegantly arranged, restrained Welsh and British furniture, antique and contemporary, all of very high quality. Tim and his wife Betsan collect everything from furniture to folk art, live locally (on the hill, in fact) and run an excellent, informative website, have seasonal exhibitions and produce a famously handsome catalogue every year.
Opening: Friday and Saturday only, 10 am - 5 pm, or by appointment.
Car Boot Sales, Auctions and Antique Markets and Fairs
There are also a good choice of car boot sales and antique markets and fairs taking place at a number of locations across the county. Here are some useful links to check out the latest dates and updates:
Car Boot Sales and Antique Markets - regular events at the United Counties Showground in Carmarthen
United Counties Agricultural and Hunters Society, The Showground, Nantyci, Carmarthen, SA33 5DR. 01267 232141.
Vintage Antiques Trail and Vintage Inspired shops
It’s all very well, the Antiques Roadshow, Flog It! and so on, but sometimes it can feel as though no stone is left unturned when looking for antiques or collectors’ items in Britain. The joy of hunting for treasure in Carmarthenshire, however, is that there are still stones left unturned and every so often you will find a real gem of a place. If you are coming to town for the Vintage Festival be sure to try the trail through town and visit the great shops offering everything you’ll need for the perfect designer vintage interior and lifestyle. You’ll find great antiques and up cycled furniture, that unique objet dar’t that you didn’t know you needed but fills that spot next to the tv in the living room. The patchwork stag’s head that you need for the lounge can be found at Mooch while the decorative antique child’s chair you need can be found at Nyth Nest. Every shop has something different, every shop will tempt you!
Curiosity Antiques Centre
An Aladdin’s Cave full of dealers: more than 40 of them occupy different corners of this gallery, which stretches back a block and upstairs. On the ground floor you can find clocks, ceramics, furniture, antique lace, hats, shoes, vintage clothes and vibrant Welsh rugs. The fun continues upstairs into the attics. King Street, Carmarthen. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm.
Carmarthen Antiques Centre
40 trade stands all under one roof selling: antique and vintage furniture, books and ephemera, collectable toys and games, kitchenalia, mantiques, tools and salvage, vintage clothes and jewellery, china and glass, Welsh blankets and quilts, art and sculpture, all things up cycled and shabby chic, rustic, romantic and practical ware, clocks and barometers, rugs AND Welsh and local interest items! We're famous for our great prices and excellent customer service! 56-57 Priory Street. SatNav SA311NU.
Alcove Antiques, Bridge Street, Antiques, collectables, furniture, house clearance. Furniture restoration undertaken.
Second Hand Rose
This family-run business has traded in Carmarthen market since 1983, specialising in buying and selling antique, vintage and second-hand jewellery, including costume jewellery, silver, gold and platinum. They also sell china, silverware and vintage clothing. Opening: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30 am - 4.30 pm. Carmarthen Indoor Market, Carmarthen. 01267 233051. Opening: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30 am - 4.30 pm.
Uncle Albert’s Drawers
Wonderful treasures and hidden above a craft shop, Uncle Alberts Drawers sells a variety of 're-loved' furniture, paintings and handmade home decorations created by the store’s owner. Described as a 'rehab for all things retro', the store is a fantastic treasure trove for those something for a little more 'quirky' for their home, old or new; with a good collection of items from local crafters also available. 30A King Street, Carmarthen SA31 1BS.
In the heart of Carmarthen seek out Audrey Bull for good quality period and Welsh country furniture. There are general antiques, including porcelain, paintings and silver. Specialists in antique, second hand and gemset jewellery. 2 Jacksons Lane (off King Street), Carmarthen.
01267 222655. Opening: Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm.
Vintage Influenced shops
King Street. Great shop with crafts, up-cycled furniture and decorative items, designer home-wares, quirky gifts and uber cool objet d’art. Keep an eye out for the very unusual stags heads!
King Street. Tasteful boutique with great crafts, a range of up-cycled furniture and antiques, decorative items, ceramics, uber cool gifts, quirky homeřwares and Objet d’art. Keep an eye out for the great little cactuses in pots, and candles in teacups!
King Street. Mix of vintage style gifts, cool home-wares, cards, furniture, and many decorative and crafty items.
Calon Cafe and Interiors
Great cafe, with tasty food and great hot chocolate. Find it behind the market the cafe has a very cool interior with lots of vintage items on display. Upstairs has a range of decorative vintage inspired items for your home. Add the odd designer touch to your home from the affordable objet d’art.
In thr street behind the market in Carmarthen. 01267236300.
Vintage Tea Party Company
King Street. A Vintage inspired home and lifestyle boutique. Alongside our beautiful home and gift ranges we are proud to be official stockists of Chalk Paint TM a decorative paint by Annie Sloan. They hold regular workshops and demonstrations as well as offering a bespoke painting service.
King Street. Mix of welsh giftware & home-ware by Melin Tregwynt, Portmeirion and Carmarthenshire artist Helen Elliott.
Inspiring all Shabby Chic lovers with their unique collection of Shabby Chic accessories and personalised gifts. An eclectic mix of beautiful and distinctive shabby chic accessories, gifts and homewares. Whether your theme is rustic, antique, retro or French country browse Carmarthen Market on a Wednesday and Saturday.
Towy Antique Fairs hold South Wales largest Antique fairs at the United Counties Showground just outside Carmarthen. The fairs are held throughout the year and attract hundreds of dealers with a wide variety of stock. Next Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market is on 27th September.