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Carmarthen Town Walls

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the community of Carmarthen.
In the historic county of Carmarthenshire.
Modern authority of Carmarthenshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN41521992
Latitude 51.85588° Longitude -4.30682°

Carmarthen Town Walls has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


The line of the medieval town wall, consisting of two main phases. Carmarthen recieved the first grant of murage of any Welsh town in 1233, the subsequent defences enclosed c3 ha. of the town. This wall ran from the castle to the bottom of Quay Street, north to Guildhall Square and on to Chapel St, turning south roughly opposite Cambrian Place and back to the castle. These walls included four gateways. After the Owain Glyndwr rebellion a new grant of murage was applied for in 1415 and the King Street/Spilman Street areas were also enclosed in stone walls, containing at least 3 new gates. Much of the wall has been taken down over the years although small sections are still upstanding, for example at Dan-y-Banc (SN41451997) and Little Bridge Street (SN41201992). (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

Section of embanking wall on line of medieval town wall dating to 1415. The wall is visible in one section behind former District Council offices, interrupted by steps up to car park, then may extend behind outbuildings on Dan-y-banc known as the donkey stables and then is visible along back of small park opposite government building (Ty Myrddin), i.e. behind the Ivy Bush Hotel. A murage grant was given in 1233 to enclose a small area around the castle. After the Glyndwr uprising of 1403-5 when the town outside the walls was sacked and the castle surrendered a new murage grant was made in 1415 to repair the walls and enclose a larger area to the E including Spilman Street. A wall is shown on this line on John Speed map of 1610.
Rubble stone embankment walling of various dates and stones, incorporating some old red sandstone and many repairs. At SW end, to left of donkey stables in Dan-y-banc and below Carmarthen District Council Offices, a tall projection of retaining wall of red stone rises some 10m high, with double plinth and square holes. It may be of later date than the much lower long length of wall to rear of the Ivy Bush Hotel, above small garden. (Listed Building Report)

A rough rectangle, apparently expanded from an earlier small oval area, with four gates. No remains. Speed's Map of 1610 is main authority for line of walls. Built from c. 1233. Fairly frequent murage grants from 1233 until mid C14 and grant of £20 from fee farm for five years in 1415 'as the king understands that the walls have been razed by the Welsh rebels, and the inhabitants are robbed at night for lack of enclosure, and the mayor and commonalty are too poor to enclose the town without aid.' Carmarthen was the most populous town of medieval Wales. The area enclosed by the medieval walls was relatively small and excluded St Peter's church and a large welsh suburb, although these were within the bounds of the Roman town. However, within the Medieval walls was the market and a smaller, now lost, church of St Mary. The English borough and castle was outside the bounds of the Roman town and if there were any Roman town defences these must have been very slight by the time of the foundation of the castle and English borough.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016