|A good read!|
My old college professor and again my mentor for new adventures in historical travel sent me an email while I was still in Wales. He wanted help in finding a location of an ancestral farm of one of the individuals signed up for our Wales/Scotland tour coming up in August. It was in Carmarthenshire.
Great! I hadn't yet been to Carmarthen, the city of Merlin ("Caer Merddyn" in Welsh meaning "Merlin's Fort or Castle") It would be easy to swing by the town after I found the farm.
And I did find it way up on the highlands above Carmarthen.
|My question is: How did Mormon Missionaries ever find this place in the 1840s?|
|The high, farm lands of Carmarthenshire|
It was busy on Saturday as shoppers come in from the surrounding area. I heard some Cymraeg spoken on the streets. And I came across a monument to the old drovers of Wales.
|It was as if they had just stopped for pizza on their long walk to the big city markets.|
|Formerly Upper Market Street and a center of medieval Carmarthen. Now named for General Nott, hero of the Afghan War.|
The one in the 1840s after the massacre of the British refugees from Kabul. (When will we ever learn?)
Carmarthen Castle is well situated on a rise above the River Tywi (or Towy).
Then up through the town, I found St. Peter's Church. It was founded, likely on an ancient Celtic Church, by William the Conqueror as Carmarthen became a Royal Norman stronghold.
|St. Peter's, Carmarthen|
And there are links as far back as the Romans as evidenced by this Roman altar in the entrance porch of the church.
And just down the Tywi, I noticed off to my right a hill with a castle ruin on top!
|Whoa! I pulled over and took this pic.|
The interpretive signs identified this as Dryswlyn, a castle of Rhys Gryg, son of Lord Rhys ruler of the southern kingdom of Deheubarth! Lord Rhys was one a rare, Welsh ruler who was able to divide up his kingdom among his sons with peaceful success. He established Llyswen (White Court) on the Wye (back in our ancestral lands) where his sons could meet to resolve their differences. The peace, sadly, only survived in the family as that blankety-blank Edward I besieged and destroyed Dryswlyn Castle which was a gatekeeper on way to Carmarthen.
|The Tywi River looking towards Carmarthen up where the hills come together.|
|From the bridge over the Tywi|