Carmarthen Castle was one of the largest castles in medieval Wales. It was also one of the most important, in its role as a centre of government and as a Crown possession in a region dominated by Welsh lands and Marcher lordships. Largely demolished during the seventeenth century, it was subsequently redeveloped, first as a prison and later as the local authority headquarters. Yet the surviving remains, and their situation, are still impressive. The situation changed with a major programme of archaeological and research work, from 1993 to 2006, which is described in this book. The history of the castle, its impact on the region and on Wales as a whole are also examined: we see the officials and other occupants of the castle, their activities and how they interacted with their environment. Excavations at the castle, and the artefacts recovered, are described along with its remaining archaeological potential. This book puts Carmarthen Castle back at the heart of the history of medieval Wales, and in its proper place in castle studies and architectural history, the whole study combining to make a major contribution to the history of one of Wales's great towns.
Neil Ludlow is a consultant archaeologist. Formerly a Project Manager with Dyfed Archaeological Trust, he practised in west Wales for twenty-five years acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of its medieval history and buildings.
1 Cyflwyniad: 'a certain good donjon' Arolwg cryno Hanesyddiaeth Lleoliad, sefyllfa ac anheddiad cynnar Disgrifiad rhagarweiniol 2 Castell Caerfyrddin a'i le yng Nghymru'r Oesoedd Canol Gwreiddiau Gwleidyddiaeth a rhyfel Canolfan llywodraeth Y castell yn ei amgylchedd [**Siecio'r fersiwn terfynol yn y bennod] 3 Yr adfeilion gweledol Y mwnt a'r gorthwr gwag Y llenfuriau a'r tyrau Y Porthdy Mawr a'r bont Tu mewn y castell Wal ac iard y carchar, a Hen Orsaf yr Heddlu 4 Ail-lunio'r castell Cyfnod I: y castell coed, 1106 - 80 Cyfnod 2: y gorthwr gwag, 1181 - 1222? Cyfnod 3: yr amddiffynfeydd o waith maen, 1223 - 40 Cyfnod 4: adeiladau ar gyfer y brenin, 1241 - 78 Cyfnod 5: mwy o lety, 1279 - 1300 Cyfnod 6: adeiladau ar gyfer llywodraeth, 1301 - 1408 Cyfnod 7: difrod ac ailadeiladu, 1409 - tua 1550 Trefniadaeth gymdeithasol: y castell fel preswylfan 5 Ymrannu, dymchwel a datblygu: y castell ol-ganoloesol Dirywiad: diwedd yr unfed ganrif ar bymtheg/canol yr ail ganrif ar bymtheg Dinistrio: o'r Rhyfel Cartref i'r Adferiad, 1642 - 60 Diwedd yr ail ganrif ar bymtheg a'r ddeunawfed ganrif Carchar newydd y Sir, 1789 - 1868 Y carchar ar ddiwedd y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg a Neuadd y Sir, 1868 - 1993 6 Pottery and other finds Pottery and glass (Paul Courtney and Dee Brennan) Organics and metalwork from medieval deposits (Mark Redknap) Small finds from post-medieval deposits (Mark Redknap, Dee Brennan and Edward Besly) 7 Epilogue: the castle rediscovered The castle in the present The castle in the future