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By Neil Ludlow

Carmarthen citadel is one in every of Wales’s most crucial yet least-known castles. This ebook examines the heritage and improvement of this heart of presidency from the medieval interval to the current day. Drawing on fresh archaeological excavations and documentary learn, Neil Ludlow sheds gentle on what way of life was once like for fort officers and different occupants and offers info in their interactions with town of Carmarthen, the encircling area and past. integrated are numerous formerly unpublished maps, plans, and illustrations that supply context and relief in describing current and previous constructions and their makes use of. This booklet restores Carmarthen fort to its position on the middle of Wales’s medieval background.

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Its military, political and economic significance meant that its custody became an important appointment for servants of the Crown, and it was frequently used as a political reward. Royal administration was formalised and strengthened in the late thirteenth century, when a justiciar was appointed to control the judicial and political machinery of south-west Wales, along with a chamberlain, responsible for its fiscal management, and a sheriff to oversee local administration, all of whom were based at the castle.

Like its predecessor, Nash’s gaol was confined to the north-west quarter of the castle site, that is, the northern half of the former inner ward; the southern half was a garden. Nash’s gaol was largely swept away in 1868–72 when the gaol was extended to cover the entire castle site, removing the last traces of the division between the inner and outer wards. The gaol was demolished in the 1930s to make way for the present County Hall, designed by Sir Percy Thomas and completed in the 1950s. Various elements of the gaol still survive, including a section of wall from Nash’s infirmary building.

4 hectares,27 Carmarthen was one of the largest castles in Wales. 1106, it experienced episodes of Welsh control during the conflicts of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Some rebuilding in stone may have begun during the twelfth century, but it remained largely of timber until the 1220–1230s, and sources from the mid-thirteenth century onwards consistently mention the castle’s ‘five towers’, presumably referring to the inner ward. The interior was crowded with buildings, even by the standards of the day.

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