Laugharne was larger than Cardiff!

In 1172 King Henry II visited Laugharne, and King Street was named to mark the occasion. He came to negotiate with Lord Rhys, who controlled much of west Wales; and who seized the castle in 1189, after Henry's death. Laugharne had some 90 houses and was one of the six most important towns in Wales - more so than Cardiff or Llanelli! Flemish weavers settled in the lower part of town in the 17 th Century.

Laugharne Castle is maintained by Cadw and although there has been a castle here since the early 12 th Century, the present edifice dates from the de Brian family in about 1290. In 1488 the earls of Northumberland seized ownership and in 1583, Queen Elizabeth I granted Laugharne to Sir John Perrott (whose name is carried by Sir John's Hill to the right from our patio). He is said to have been the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.

Laugharne is one of only two towns in England and Wales (with Malmsbury) to retain a Royal Charter establishing a Corporation of Burgesses and an elected Portreeve (from Saxon Port (market town) and Gerefa (official). The Portreeve has a chain of golden cockle shells, reflecting the major industry of the town in the past. Each new Portreeve adds a new cockle after his two-year term of office.