Carmarthenshire, Wales Public Record Office
Parc Myrddin, Richmond Terrace, Carmarthen
The Carmarthenshire, Wales Public Record Office is located at Parc Myrddin, Richmond Terrace, Carmarthen. The Office, which was established in 1959, maintains historical records of the county and makes these records available to the general public for research purposes.
The Carmarthenshire Archives, a branch of the Public Record Office, contain documents such as parish registers, maps, birth and death certificates, hospital and legal records. The Archives also contain land deeds and titles dating back to the fourteenth century.
The Public Record Office recommends that anyone wishing to access the archives should make an appointment at least one week in advance. Visitors without an appointment may only use the facilities as space and time permit.
Carmarthenshire, known as the “Garden of Wales” due to its argriculture, is the third largest county in Wales. Formerly known as “Ystrad Tywi,” the county was officially named “Carmarthenshire” in 1284 in the statute of Rhuddlan. The largest towns in Carmarthenshire are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford.
Carmarthenshire boasts some of the oldest castles in Britain, including Laugharne, Kidwelly and Cerreg Cennen Castle. In fact, Wales has more castles than any other country in Europe. In addition, several Arthurian legends link the area to Merlin the Magician. One of the legends states: “When Myrddin’s tree shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen town.” In fact, a limb from the aforementioned tree is held in the Carmarthen Museum.
Carmarthen was also an inspiration for the poet Dylan Thomas, who wrote much of his play, “Under Milkwood,” at a boathouse in Laugharne. This boathouse is now open to the public. Laugharne is thought to have inspired the fictional town of “Llaregub” in Thomas’ writing.
Carmarthernshire attracts almost three million visitors every year and approximately 6,200 people are employed in the tourism industry in this part of Wales.
In addition to the historic sites in the area, visitors are attracted to Carmarthenshire for its varied outdoor activities, such as mountain biking in the Brechfa Forest, canoeing at Llandysul and hiking through the Brecon Beacons National Park. Fishing is also hugely popular, as the Welsh rivers are rich with trout and salmon.