Carmarthen Castle: The Archaeology of Government by Neil Ludlow

By Neil Ludlow

Carmarthen citadel is one in every of Wales’s most crucial yet least-known castles. This e-book examines the historical past and improvement of this heart of presidency from the medieval interval to the current day. Drawing on contemporary archaeological excavations and documentary learn, Neil Ludlow sheds mild on what everyday life used to be like for fortress officers and different occupants and gives info in their interactions with the city of Carmarthen, the encircling zone and past. integrated are numerous formerly unpublished maps, plans, and illustrations that supply context and relief in describing latest and previous constructions and their makes use of. This booklet restores Carmarthen citadel to its position on the middle of Wales’s medieval heritage.

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Much of the latter was revised and updated by Ralph Griffiths, in his Principality of Wales, which deals with the structure and personnel of government, after the Edwardian conquest of 1284,10 and is drawn on in the administrative history below. 11 This account attempts to summarise, synthesise and rationalise the information from all the above sources, with comparison to other, similar sites. New conclusions, and any disagreements with published accounts, are indicated in the notes. In addition, aspects of the castle’s economic history are examined, and compared with the other major excavated medieval building in the town, Carmarthen Friary.

Crown strategy, 1241–1301 Hostilities, however, resumed as Llywelyn’s claim to the overlordship of Deheubarth continued under his descendants. 77 It was during this period of indirect rule that Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, grandson of Llywelyn the Great, began the campaign of reconquest that was to see Deheubarth once again subject to Gwynedd. In 1257, the experienced commander Stephen Bauzan was sent to Carmarthen to assert Crown authority, but his army suffered a comprehensive defeat at Coed Llathen, near Llandeilo,78 resulting in a four-year truce.

16 If Ystrad Tywi/Cydweli was indeed held by or promised to FitzBaldwin, then Rhydygors may instead have stood east of the Tywi. 17 The site now lies beneath a railway-line. 3 km south-west of Carmarthen (SN 403 191). 19 It is named after the ford, and it lies close to the main Roman road (Figures 2 and 6). Moreover, it formed the nucleus of Carmarthen Castle’s demesne holding of ‘Redcors’ (see Figure 9); the possibility therefore exists that the very location of the castle’s demesne – south-west of Carmarthen, concentrated around Rhydygors – was derived from its origins as territory immediately appurtenant to Rhydygors Castle, from which it was also provisioned.

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