by Hannah Craven
History and Heritage
Wales is world-renowned for its historic castles – over 600, in fact! But did you know that there are nine castles in Carmarthenshire that are well worth a visit?
While many are remains of what was once a mighty stronghold, these ruins offer a great day out for keen history buffs. From the impressive Laugharne Castle to the ancient ruins of Dinefwr Castle, visitors are able to explore these castles and discover the rich history of Wales.
Planning a weekend away in Carmarthenshire? We’ve put together a list of all the castles in the county…
The remains of nine castles can be found in Carmarthenshire.
Location: 4.6 miles southeast of Llandeilo
Carreg Cennen Castle was originally built in the 12th century as a Welsh Castle. It was in English possession from the 13th Century and destroyed during the 14th Century due to being seen as a threat to the monarchy. The castle is situated in a commanding position on a rocky outcrop high above the lands below.
Location: In the centre of Carmarthen town
Carmarthen Castle is a Norman Castle, built during the 12th century. Became the County prison in the 18th Century. The Castle is in the centre of Carmarthen Town – head for Nott Square for entrance through a remaining gatehouse.
Location: On the outskirts of Llandeilo
Built in the 12th century as a Welsh Castle. Dinefwr Castle is now owned by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. The castle can be found on the outskirts of Llandeilo in Dinefwr Park.
Location: On a rock outcrop along the B4297, south of Dryslwyn
A Welsh castle that was taken over in the 13th century. Dryslwyn Castle sits on a rocky outcrop next to the B4297 off the A40 Carmarthen to Llandeilo Road – just south of the village of Dryslwyn.
Location: Within the town of Kidwelly
A Norman Castle built in the 13th century. It fell to the Welsh a number of times and used as a Judicial Court during the 17th century. You can find Kidwelly Castle in the town of Kidwelly overlooking the River Gwendraeth.
Location: In the town of Laugharne
The remains seen today are that of a 13th-century castle built by the de Brian family, although Laugharne Castle was likely in ruins by the late 16th century. The castle is situated in the town of Laugharne near the River Taf.
Location: Within the town of Llandovery
Llandovery Castle is of Norman origin but has changed hands many times through many sieges before being abandoned as a ruin during the 14th century. Situated in the town of Llandovery, you can find it behind the principal car park for the town.
Location: Just outside the village of Llanstephan
Llanstephan Castle is also of Norman origin, and the castle changed hands many times before being converted into a residence at some point during the 15th century. The castle sits above the River Towi near the village of Llanstephan.
Location: On a hilltop in Newcastle Emlyn
Newcastle Emlyn Castle is a Welsh castle that was built during the 13th century. It was later blown up during the 17th century, to make sure it could not be defended. The castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the River Teifi in Newcastle Emlyn.
Discover the history of Wales from one of our delightful Carmarthenshire cottages – choose from cosy cottages in the countryside and spacious family homes in the popular towns of the county. Or read our guide to the best castles in West Wales for more mighty fortresses waiting to be explored.
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