Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Wales I: Laugharne and Tenby

On the first full day of our trip we went west to Laugharne and Tenby.  (Guess who forgot his camera the previous evening when we went on to the Gower?)
Laugharne is a lovely, rather urban, village tucked up on a winding estuary.  The main street of stuccoed houses is what you'd expect to find in a market town.  Indeed many of the houses were particularly grand (some also undergoing restoration) which suggests that it was once a wealthy place.  Today it famous for being the last home of Dylan Thomas - and partly the inspiration for the Radio drama 'Under Milk Wood'.  Standing on the quay side, and ascending up to Thomas's Writing Shed I was struck by the incredible, profound silence of it all.  The view down the estuary to the sea contained, also, a deep sense of mystery and I was reminded of the pivotal role Wales had in the Neo-Romantic imagination:  Piper travelled all over Wales, while Sutherland and Craxton went west into Pembrokeshire.  And of course, there was Thomas himself.

The Boat House where Dylan and Caitlin lived from 1949 onwards.  It is now a small museum and tea room.  I found it very moving.

The writing shed.  It stands high above the estuary.

The interior - both commonplace and magical.

The view from Dylan's house across the estuary.

We drove on into the west, passing through Pendine, Marros, Amroth, Wiseman's Bridge and Saundersfoot.  At Pendine church we found this cast iron gravestone which had been cast in Saundersfoot up the coast.

Tenby is very beautiful, probably one of most beautiful small towns in Britain.  Though it was that day too hot and too busy for me to be comfortable.  Both its location and architecture couldn't be better. I particularly love the joyous colour of the buildings.

 Tucked away in an alley way is this medieval house that once housed a merchant and his family.  It is owned by the National Trust and has been re-furnished in an historically informed manner.

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