The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"LAUGHARNE, (or Tal-llacharn), a parish, post and market town, in the hundred of Derllys, county Carmarthen, 9 miles S.W. of Carmarthen, 12 S.E. of Narberth, and 230 from London. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Corran and Taf, in Carmarthen Bay. The St. Clear's and Whitland stations on the South Wales line of railway are each of them about 3 miles distant from the town, which stands on the right bank, and at the mouth of the Taf, across which is a ferry.
Laugharne was anciently called Aber-Cowen, or Aber-Corran, but assumed its present name from the castle having been taken in 1644 by General Laugharne. The castle was built by the Normans, which was taken and destroyed by Llewellyn ap Jorwerth in 1215, but was rebuilt by Sir Guido de Brian. In 1645 it was taken by Cromwell, after a siege of three weeks, when its fortifications were destroyed. It is at present inhabited, and not shown to strangers.
The town as a seaport is of little importance, having only a small export trade, but is much frequented as a cheap watering-place. The houses are well built, and have a remarkable clean appearance. It is nominally governed, under a charter of John, by a portreeve, recorder, aldermen, &c. Petty sessions are held here.
Near to the bay of Carmarthen, at the S. end of the town, are the ruins of the castle mentioned above, and dismantled by order of Cromwell. The ruins of Roche's Castle are distant about 1 mile. The port of Laugharne is considered a creek to Llanelly. A charter of incorporation was granted to the town by John, which was confirmed by Edward III., and enlarged by Edward VI. The local government is vested in a portreeve, aldermen, and other officers, who hold courts leet and baron.
This is a place of very little trade, and of late years has very much gone down, though frequented during the summer months as a watering place. It exports a small quantity of produce to Bristol. The town consists chiefly of one long street. The living is a vicarage with the rectory of Llansadwrnen annexed, in the diocese of St. David's, joint value £411, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Winchester. The church, dedicated to St. Martin, is an ancient cruciform structure. The interior contains tombs of the Laugharnes and Judge Powell of Broadway, and also in it are preserved a set of priest's robes, presented by Sir Guido de Brian, who bequeathed lands to the parish.
The charities, including an endowment to the school of industry, produce rather over £90 per annum. The Baptists, Independents, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, have each a chapel; and there is a National school. Josiah Tucker, D.D., the political writer, was born in this parish. Market day is Friday. Fairs are held on the 6th May and 28th September.
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018