Discovering Carmarthenshire
AT A GLANCE

Castles and Heritage

Carmarthenshire is steeped in myth and legend and home to some of the most authentic and atmospheric castles in Europe...

Carreg Cennen Castle

Carreg Cennen Castle

The ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle stand majestically some 900 ft above the River Cennen and prepare to be amazed by the 60 mile panoramic views across to the Preseli Hills to the west and the remote Black Mountain to the south. This is a haunting, atmospheric place, a castle that appears to spring out of legend and fairytale, charged with a sense of past. Carreg Cennen’s origins are shrouded in obscurity. The existing stronghold dates from around 1300 and has something of a chequered history, falling into Welsh and English hands during the troubled medieval period.
Admission charge - More information - carregcennencastle.com
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Dinefwr Castle

Dinefwr Castle

A 12th-century Welsh castle, historic house and 18th-century landscape park, home to more than 100 fallow deer make Dinefwr Castle a truly amazing place. The castle overlooks the River Tywi near the town of Llandeilo, and there is a very defensible steep drop to the river of several hundred feet. It was first constructed on this site by Rhodri the Great, but no remains from this period have been found. Dinefwr later became the chief seat of Rhodri's grandson Hywel Dda, first ruler of Deheubarth and later king of most of Wales. Dinefwr became the stronghold of the princes of Deheubarth, and in the 12th Century was held by Lord Rhys, the most powerful of the Welsh princes at that time.
Free entry - More information - welshwildlife.org/castle-woods-llandeilo
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Dryslwyn Castle

Dryslwyn Castle

Only fragments of this 13th Century castle on the banks of the River Tywi survive but it’s still worth the steep climb up from the car park below as the views are magnificent. Dryslwyn was probably built in the 1220s by the princes of Deheubarth and was, with its near neighbour at Dinefwr, for a long time central to the security of the kingdom. After the death of the last native Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Gruffudd in 1283, the castle was one of the few remaining substantial stone castles in Wales to be held by a Welshman, the most prominent surviving Welsh lord, Rhys ap Maredudd until he was captured and executed in 1292.
Free entry - More information - cadw.wales.gov.uk
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Kidwelly Castle

Kidwelly Castle

This castle is one of Wales’s best-kept secrets. Kidwelly, overlooking the River Gwendraeth, presents a vision of medieval times which is more complete than many of its more celebrated contemporaries. The castle is remarkably well preserved but its most arresting feature has to be its great gatehouse, completed in 1422. Look out for the arches through which rocks could be thrown onto attackers then allow your imagination to run riot and imagine defending the castle from your enemies.
Admission charge - More information - cadw.wales.gov.uk
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Laugharne Castle

Laugharne Castle

The sleepy, timeless town of Laugharne was not always the tranquil place it is today. This placid place, immortalised by its most celebrated inhabitant, the writer Dylan Thomas, has a far more turbulent past.m Laugharne Castle is testament to the town’s troubled history, standing foursquare on the waterfront overlooking the Taf estuary. Laugharne was probably founded in the early 12th Century as an earth and timber fortification but was later adapted to provide stylish living accommodation.
Admission charge - More information - cadw.wales.gov.uk
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Llansteffan Castle

Llansteffan Castle

Llansteffan Castle stands on a hill overlooking the Tywi estuary, standing guard over the river as it would have done in the early 12th Century. Llansteffan was one of a chain of castles built by the Normans but its history as a stronghold goes back much further, with the castle taking advantage of the existing earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort. Like many other castles in the region its early history is marked by repeated attacks and capture by the Welsh. The first mention of the castle is in 1146 when it was captured by the three princes of Deheubarth.
Free entry - More information - cadw.wales.gov.uk
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Newcastle Emlyn Castle

Newcastle Emlyn Castle

The remains of this castle sit on a grassy site overlooking the River Teifi. Only ruins stand today but you can still get a great feel for the majesty of this place. The twin towered gatehouse on the west side of the triangular inner courtyard is the castle’s most prominent feature. The gatehouse towers are semi-octagonal outside and rectangular inside with latrine shafts on the north and south.
Free entry - More information - castlewales.com
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