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History of Carmarthenshire & Camarthen

Carmarthenshire | Carmarthen | Llanelli | Whitland | Ammanford & Laugharne | History of Carmarthenshire

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History of Carmarthenshire

For those on the heritage and history trail, whether keen schoolchildren or inquisitive adults, Carmarthenshire has several major museums of note.

For the varied history of the county's long cultural, industrial and agricultural heritage, the Carmarthenshire County Museum housed the ancient Bishop's Palace at Abergwili, near Carmarthen, is well worth a visit. Here, children of all ages (from 6 to 96!) will enjoy the legend of King Arthur and Merlin his magician which abound with their roots around the Roman centre of Carmarthen. Tales and stories abound, the most famous of which is perhaps the statement that "When Merlin's tree shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen town". Although there are many versions, no one ever did discover exactly what happened to Merlin, but they say he was imprisoned for eternity in a cave about two miles out of town when one of his own spells was cast against him. Perhaps you might care to take a break and head to Carmarthen to see if you can throw some light on the fable that has been intriguing the area for centuries!

Llanelli was of course once the tin plate capital of the world, and the Parc Howard Museum has plenty on record about this, in particular tracing the history of the process of making tinplate. However, for a more detailed journey, the Kidwelly Industrial Museum is the only museum dedicated to the tinplate industry in general, and more specifically, the individual processes involved in making it. You can also pay a visit to Kidwelly Castle on the Gwendraeth River which also has an on-site exhibition and full programme of events.

Remembering how important the wool industry was for Wales, the National Wool Museum in, located in the historic former Cambrian Mills at Drefach Felindre in the Teifi valley was once nicknamed the "Huddersfield of Wales". Here you will find everything relating to the history of making woollen garments, there are demonstrations and exhibitions to watch. Children will come away not believing what it actually takes to produce the clothes on their back!

The Pendine Museum of Speed is fascinating as it traces the history of attainment of the land speed record over the early years. Near to the eponymous sands that have been used for so many record attempts, 'Babs' the car belonging to Parry Thomas that lay buried in the sand dunes at Pendine is now exhibited there during the summer, with other speed record-breaking vehicles exhibited at various timed during the year.

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