Carmarthen Castle
434 pages

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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.



Publié par
Date de parution 10 juin 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781783160136
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 16 Mo

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CARMARTHEN CASTLE The Archaeology of Government The Results of Archaeological, Historical and Architectural Investigation, 1993–2006 Neil Ludlow
© Neil Ludlow, 2014
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any material form (including photocopying or storing it in any medium by electronic means and whether or not transiently or incidentally to some other use of this publication) without the written permission of the copyright owner except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Applications for the copyright owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of this publication should be addressed to the University of Wales Press, 10 Columbus Walk, Brigantine Place, Cardiff CF10 4UP.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN 978-1-7831-6012-9 eISBN 978-1-7831-6013-6
The right of Neil Ludlow to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77, 78 and 79 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Funding for this publication is gratefully acknowledged.
Designed and typeset by Chris Bell, cbdesign Printed by CPI Antony Rowe, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Foreword by Eifion Bowen, Carmarthenshire County Council
Foreword by Kenneth Murphy, Dyfed Archaeological Trust
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
1 INTRODUCTION: ‘A CERTAIN GOOD DONJON’ A brief overview Historiography Location, setting and early settlement
An introductory description
2 CARMARTHEN CASTLE AND ITS PLACE IN MEDIEVAL WALES Origins Politics and war A centre of government The castle in the landscape
3 THE PHYSICAL REMAINS The motte and shell-keep The curtain walls and towers The Great Gatehouse and bridge The castle interior The gaol wall, yard and Old Police Station
vii ix
xi xvii xix xxi
1 2 4 5 8
15 16 19 25 37
65 65 83 118 150 158
viCastle Carmarthen
4 RECONSTRUCTING THE CASTLE Phase 1: The timber castle, 1106–1180 Phase 2: The shell-keep, 1181–1222?
Phase 3: The masonry defences, 1223–1240
Phase 4: Buildings for the king, 1241–1278
Phase 5: More accommodation, 1279–1300
Phase 6: Buildings for government, 1301–1408
Phase 7: Damage and rebuilding, 1409–c.1550
Social organisation: the castle as a residence
5 DIVISION, DEMOLITION AND DEVELOPMENT: THE POST-MEDIEVAL CASTLE Decline: the late sixteenth/mid-seventeenth century Slighting: from Civil War to Restoration, 1642–1660
The late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
The new County Gaol, 1789–1868
The late nineteenth-century gaol and County Hall, 1868–1993
6 POTTERY AND OTHER FINDS Pottery and glass (Paul Courtney and Dee Williams) Organics and metalwork from medieval deposits (Mark Redknap) Small finds from post-medieval deposits (Mark Redknap, Dee Williams and Edward Besly)
7 EPILOGUE: THE CASTLE REDISCOVERED The castle in the present The castle in the future
Appendix: Documented Development
173 178 181 183 189 191 194 199 205
225 227 231 236 241 253
275 277 319
339 339 345
by Eifion Bowen, Carmarthenshire County Council
Over thelast forty years Carmarthen has become familiar with visitors arriving to see the castle, mistakenly thinking they are at Caernarfon (120 miles to the north). Perhaps more surprising was the number of local people who, in response to a County Council public consultation, said, ‘I didn’t know Carmarthen had a castle,’ Only glimpses of the cas-tle were possible through the surrounding buildings and, even then, only ivy-clad remains could be seen. In addition, rarely did Carmarthen appear in books on the castles of Wales. It seemed to have vanished, and been forgotten. Changes began in the early 1970s when the council demolished the Swan Inn, in Nott Square, to reveal more of the gatehouse. Slowly but surely, over the following thirty years, further schemes revealed more and more of the impressive remains. Hand in hand came a wealth of information from the archaeology. The information from below ground was also matched by that from the depths of the written record. This book is the fruit of painstaking excavation, survey and research work by Neil Ludlowand others. It includes a detailed history of the castle with a rare depth of analysis. The strategic importance of this site is evidenced not only in battles for its control throughout the Middle Ages, but in its persistence as a seat of power for 900 years. The description of its long history is enriched by references to similarities with other castles in Britain, and the trade connections with continental Europe revealed by the documents and pottery remains. With the views and access now afforded to the public, Carmarthen Castle is on the map in its own right, and is moreover recognised as one of the most important in the history of Wales and beyond. This has been made possible through the dedication, expertise and pro-fessionalism of a multi-disciplinary team of archaeologists, architects, planners, surveyors, engineers, contractors, accountants and archivists; through the funding of the grant- making bodies; and through the vision of the County Council.
Eifion Bowen Head of Planning, Carmarthenshire County Council August 2012
by Kenneth Murphy dyfed Archaeological Trust
From itsfoundation in 1975 until 1994, Dyfed Archaeological Trust was based inCarmarthen – Wales’s oldest town and the focus of political and economic life in south-west Wales for two thousand years. One of the Trust’s early priorities was to obtain a clearer picture of the town’s archaeological resource, resulting in the 1980 publication of a pio-neering survey by the late Terry James. At the same time, Heather James of the Trust began large-scale excavations within Roman Carmarthen. The Trust’s commitment to the town continued with an equally ambitious excavation by Terry James on the site of the medie-val Franciscan Friary in the 1980s. Opportunities to investigate the castle were, however,limited – though I had the chance to help excavate part of the site, again under Heather and Terry James, in 1980. The situation changed in 1993 with the commencement of a thirteen-year scheme of enhancement work at the castle, under the county council, accompanied by a fullprogramme of archaeological investigation by Dyfed Archaeological Trust. The results of excavation and recording by Duncan Schlee, Pete Crane, Neil Ludlow and others, are described in this book, and assessed alongside Neil’s extensive research work to provide a full account of the castle’s history and development. We see the officials and other occu-pants of the castle, and look at their activities; the castle buildings are examined, along with the uses to which they were put, and how they changed through time. This study makes a major contribution to the history of one of Wales’s great towns.
Kenneth Murphy Dyfed Archaeological Trust December 2013
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