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Kidwelly is a small town on the Gwendraeth River which joins the Towy at the estuary mouth. It is dominated by its castle and Norman church but there are still remnants of its town walls especially the South Gate.


The Old Town South Gate

The Gwendraeth River

Kidwelly Castle from the East

Kidwelly Castle is an unusual half moon shape with the East wall straight along the mound above the Gwendraeth Fach River. The wall is strengthened by the round tower and the lower buttressed tower with its field of fire protecting the wall.



The Main Gatehouse and a view of the Castle above the Gwendraeth Fach



The Semi Circular North Wall


The castle was established by Roger Bishop of Salisbury as an earthwork topped by wooden fences and buildings. It fell to the Welsh on a number of occasions during the 12th century, though Gwenllian failed to take the castle in 1136, but by 1201 was in English hands and remained so thereafter. Owain Glyndwr took the town but failed to capture the castle despite a three week siege. Much of the building work was carried out by the Normans during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries though work on the great gatehouse had not been completed by the time of Glyndwr in 1403. In 1298 the castle had passed into the hands of Henry Earl of Lancaster and it was he who was mainly responsible for the building. Kidwelly Castle was painted by J.W.M. Turner on his tour of South Wales. (Image)

Kidwelly Industrial Museum

A mile North of the town, occupying the site of the old tinplate works which dates from 1737, the Kidwelly Industrial Museum stands on the bank of the Gwendraeth Fach river. It contains a wide range of mechanical relics and preserves Britain's only surviving pack mill. Pack mills were used to produce individual sheets of tin but were replaced from the 1920s by strip mills making larger more economical strips of tinplate.

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Site and Photographs Geoffrey Davies 2008-10  Contact info@enchantedtowy.co.uk