Laugharne ( _cy. Talacharn) is a town in Carmarthenshire, Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Tâf. It is known for having been the home of Dylan Thomas from 1949 until his death in 1953, and is thought to have been an inspiration for the fictional town of Llareggub in "Under Milk Wood". Laugharne Corporation is an almost unique institution, and the last surviving mediæval corporation in the United Kingdom. The Corporation was established in 1291 by Sir Guy de Brian, a Marcher Lord. The Corporation is presided over by the Portreeve, wearing his traditional chain of gold cockle shells, the Aldermen, and the body of Burgesses. Courts are held on a regular basis, where administration of the common fields is dealt with. The Laugharne open field system is one of only two surviving and still in use today in Britain.

Customs associated with the Corporation include the Common walk, held every three years. This event is attended by most of the young and firm local population, their number swelled by many visitors. The local pubs open at approx 5.00 in the morning, and following a liquid breakfast the throng commence a trek of some 25 miles around the boundaries of the Corporation lands. At significant historical landmarks a victim is selected to name the place. If they cannot answer, they are hoisted upside down and ceremonially beaten three times on the rear.

The cockle industry was once a significant part of the Laugharne economy, and the well-established pickling firm Parsons have their origins in Laugharne.

The Laugharne accent is interesting, sounding like a mix of Devon with Carmarthenshire Welsh. Many local words and phrases are archaic : e.g. "How art thee maid?". Laugharne is at the eastern end of the south Wales Englishry and only a minority of its inhabitants have ever spoken Welsh. The language boundary lies a few miles north of Laugharne.

Architecturally, Laugharne contains many fine examples of Georgian townhouses, with a scattering of earlier vernacular cottages.

Attractions in the town include the 12th-century Laugharne Castle, the town hall and the birdlife of the estuary.

The actor Neil Morrissey considers the village his second home, and his love of Dylan Thomas led to him and his business partner Matt Roberts buying up numerous properties in the village, including the Hurst Hotel, the New Three Mariners pub and Brown's Hotel in April 2004 for £670,000 [ [ BBC NEWS | Wales | South West Wales | Morrissey buys Dylan Thomas' local ] ] . In October 2006 it was announced that Morrisey had put Brown's Hotel on the market in order to finance the redevelopment of the Hurst Hotel, and expansion of the private members' club, Hurst House in Covent Garden, London.

During the Great War, over 300 men and women of Laugharne and her surrounding villages volunteered to fight in His Majesty’s Forces, 54 of these lost their lives. They are buried or commemorated all over the world, from Belgium to India. This was the ‘War to end all Wars’, and it was thought that mankind would never again be so idiotic as to commit her sons to this slaughter again, but as we all know, the sons of these men were again to fight in World War II, and the area lost another 20 sons. These men, alongside their compatriots from Carmarthenshire are remembered in perpetuity on the website [ Carmarthenshire War Memorials]

The Laugharne Weekend

In 2007, Laugharne hosted a three day literary festival - The Laurgharne Weekend - intended as an annual event, and featuring writers such as Niall Griffiths and Patrick McCabe.

The 2008 event was headlined by Will Self, Howard Marks and Patti Smith. Although the town's Millennium Hall was used as the main venue, smaller events were hosted by local venues including Dylan Thomas' Boathouse. [ [ Laugharne Weekend] website]


The Laugharne Corporation now has its own official web site which gives more details about the town and can be found by visiting

External links

* [ Laugharne - history, where to go, what to do]
* [ Laugharne online]
* [ Dylan Thomas Boathouse]
* [ History]
* [ Laugharne on Genuki]
* [ Aerial photograph of Laugharne]
* [ Laugharne Cricket Club]
* [ : photos of Laugharne and surrounding area]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laugharne — (spr. Lahfern), Marktflecken in der Grafschaft Caermarthen des englischen Fürstenthums Wales, an der Mündung des Tave in die Caermarthenbai u. an der South Wales Eisenbahn; 1500 Ew.; von L. bis Tengby erstreckt sich das westliche Steinkohlenbasin …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Laugharne — Recorded as O Loughran, O Laugheran and today more usually without the Gaelic prefix as Laugheran, Loughran, Laugharne and others, this is an Irish surname. It is of great antiquity being derived from the pre 10th century O Luchrain. This means… …   Surnames reference

  • Laugharne Castle — (Welsh: Castell Talacharn ) is a castle in the town of Laugharne in southern Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is located on the estuary of the River Tâf.The castle was built by the Normans after 1100 as part of their invasion of Wales. It was seized by …   Wikipedia

  • Laugharne Township — is electoral ward and a community in Carmarthenshire, Wales.The electoral ward includes the village of Pendine and the stretch of beach called Pendine Sands. At the 2001 census, its population was 2942 people residing in 1191 households. It is… …   Wikipedia

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