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Old Highways and byways in the Kidwelly area


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On overview of roads and tracks around the ancient borough of Kidwelly, going back to Roman times (by Christine Davies)

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Old Highways and byways in the Kidwelly area

  1. 1. Old Highways and Byways of the Kidwelly area … an opportunity to enjoy some old photos and maps Christine Davies
  2. 2. Kidwelly Town & nearby
  3. 3. Kidwelly Town Centre Today (Streetmap) 1897 (OS)
  4. 4. Aerial View of Kidwelly, 1962 From:
  5. 5. Ordnance Survey, 1897 Points of interest: • Lower Ferry Road was called ‘Mount Pleasant Street’ in 1897, though was called ‘Shoe Lane Street’ before that, and ‘Scholand’ earlier • New Street was called ‘Ditch Street’ • Banc Pendre was ‘Pinged Hill Street’ • Today’s road names introduced before the 1913 OS map • House numbers introduced in 1902
  6. 6. From: Hughes, E. (1999) Kidwelly: A History. (old names – approx. late 15th Century) Cock Street Longstrete Bownamstrete Monkesford Le Stokwell Le Holwey 15 23 (north end of Water St referred to as ‘Pitcroft’) 2 2 2
  7. 7. Causeway Street, c 1910 Bridge Street From:
  8. 8. Castle Street to Castle Gateway Castle St up to Castle From: Old Bethesda Chapel visible near Castle
  9. 9. Looking down Pinged Hill c 1900 ‘View of Kidwelly from Pinged Hill’ by Henry Smythe (1852): [see: kidwelly-177495 ]
  10. 10. Looking up Ferry Road/ Mount Pleasant Road Bridge over Gwendraeth Fach, & Trinity Methodist Church (c 1910) From:
  11. 11. Abbey Street (1960s?)Water Street/ Bower Street approx. 1900 From: From: Carmarthenshire County Council (1997) Gwendraeth Valleys Note the stream running down the left-hand (western) side of the road – called ‘Bushy Lake’
  12. 12. Holloways (the ‘Summerway’) Summerway mentioned in 1396 in Muddlescombe deeds. Dating based on hedges also indicates an age of around 600 years (Barnie & James, 1977)
  13. 13. Penallt Penlan Isaf Penlan Uchaf Maes Gwenllian Llwyn y Barcud Parcymynydd Goitre Uchaf Muddlescwm Cwm Hed Banc o’Lord Burton/ Bertwn? Walking the Boundary of the Borough of Kidwelly (1818 OS map) • Descriptions of Whit Wednesday walk, 1863 • 14 walkers + flag • Started and ended at Penallt • Went to Pelican afterwards! • Last recorded ‘beating of bounds’ in 1890 ( Morris, 1960)
  14. 14. Looking beyond Kidwelly Town (going backwards in time)
  15. 15. Ordnance Survey, 1897 Points of interest: • Great Western Railway • Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley Railway (following path of old canals) • Gwendraeth Valley Railway (to quarries) - disused? • Lime Works • Tinplate Works present on map, but not marked because closed for 3 years
  16. 16. Ordnance Survey, 1897 (overlaid on present map on rhs). See:
  17. 17. 1854 map (William Hughes) • Railway (GWR) completed by 1852 (other railways 1860s) • Road over marsh between Kidwelly & Pembrey completed 1850 • Canals : Kymer’s canal (1766), [Lord Ashburnham’s canal- 1796], Kidwelly & Llanelli Canal & Tramroad (1812), Pembrey Canal (1824) Other points of interest: • Gellideg (built 1852) • Iscoed (built 1771 • Pembrey House (built 1823) • ‘Race course’ near Allt Cunedda • Inns seem to be important! e.g. ‘New Inn’ & ‘The Star’
  18. 18. 1831 (Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (Great Britain) Points of interest: • The current main road north of Kidwelly (A484) was built around 1828 by the Kidwelly Turnpike Trust • Kidwelly & Llanelli Canal & Tramroad & Pembrey Canal (1824) • Carmarthenshire Tramway (horse- drawn); later the Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway • Ishmaelton?!
  19. 19. 1720 1829 map (Henry Teesdale) The route: Pontarddulais – Llannon - Carmarthen was the main mail coach route after 1794 The route: Pontarddulais – Llanelli - Pembrey Mountain - Kidwelly was in very poor condition in 1791 (Lewis, 1971)
  20. 20. 1794 (Kitchin, Phillips, Laurie & Whittle) • Note ‘Ferry’ • Kymer’s canal (only one) to Mancha: ? : Mansant/ Maen- sant?? (near Meinciau) • Forest: Carway Forest? • Several odd spellings!
  21. 21. From: • Kidwelly Turnpike Trust- founded 1760s- extended from eastern Carmarthen to River Loughor (other Trusts, also) • Approx 14 gates around Kidwelly (one at Spudder’s Bridge) • NB: Rebecca Riots: 1840s (around 10 of Kidwelly Gates damaged; eg. 1843 attack on gate at northern end of Water Street) • End of turnpikes approx. 1860s Turnpike roads (map from Dyfed Archaeological Trust) Not much indication of particular Drovers routes – not so important south of Carmarthen?
  22. 22. 1767 (Emanuel Bowen) • Several landowners noted • Bridges over Gwendraeth Fawr well- marked • Ferry • St Tylo’s Church • Coal pits • ‘a Well [nr] ‘Mudlescwm’: Ffynnon Mihangel • Melin ‘Achloe’= Achddu Mill • ‘Mancha’ again!
  23. 23. 1753 (John Roque)
  24. 24. The ‘King’s Highway’ The road on the eastern side of Gwendraeth Fach Valley (running west of Gellideg) is quite old - referred to in 16th & 17th centuries as ‘King’s Highway’ or ‘Royal Way’, or ‘highway to Carmarthen’. Probably a secondary road by 18th century (Evans, 1988)
  25. 25. Emanuel Bowen’s map of 1720 (based on John Ogilby?) ps/186-emanuel-bowen-map-1720 Llanelli Gwendraeth Fawr; Pont Spwdwr (turn left to Pembrey) (turn left to Llansaint) Ferry over towy Llansteffan ‘Passage’ across Taf Laugharne
  26. 26. Hondius’ map of 1606
  27. 27. Gerald of Wales’ journey, 1188 Picture from:
  28. 28. From: John, T. and Rees, M. (2002) Pilgrimage: A Welsh Perspective. Llandysul: Gomer Press. Pilgimage routes in South Wales A large part of this route was referred to as the ‘Portway’
  29. 29. uk/projects/romanmilitary.htm Dyfed Archaeological Trust 2005 analysis of possible Roman roads: Two near Kidwelly: • B4306 through Llangynderyn & Pontyberem to Ponarddulais • B4309 through Pontantwn & Pontyates to Llanelli
  30. 30. OS 1946 O’Dwyer, 1936, quoted in Hughes, L., 2002, suggests: • A Roman road from Carmarthen passing through Pontantwn and Ponyates But also… • Another Roman route from Carmarthen passed through Pensarn, Croesyceiliog, Pen-yr- Heol, Broadway, Portway, over Mynydd Penbre to Llanelli and Loughor (also mentioned by Ethel M. Davies in her ‘Story of Llandefaelog’, 1954)
  31. 31. “In light of the 2018 drought discoveries, analysis of LiDAR showed the survival of 350m of probable agger [ridge supporting road surface] entering Kidwelly town from the north, emerging from the line of the modern A484 road south of Llys y Gorlan, emerging on the south side of the modern roundabout and running south-west fossilised by a track or lane for 215m, and then continuing the line of the track as an earthwork agger on LiDAR for a further 175m towards Millands Farm. Evidence suggests a crossing of the Gwendraeth river beyond Middle Mill, and the probable existence of a Roman installation or port on the Gwendraeth in the vicinity of Kidwelly. It is interesting to note finds of a denarius of Antoninus Pius (AD 151-2) and a Roman bow brooch fragment centred on SN 405 703 north-west of Kidwelly Castle.” T. Driver, RCAHMW, 2019 (see: road-section-at-kidwelly ) Llys y Gorlan Recent RCAHMW Roman findings south of Carmarthen:
  32. 32. References • Barnie, H. and James, T. (1977) ‘Hedges and landscape history: a study of land use in the Kidwelly area’. Carmarthenshire Antiquary, Vol.13 • Booth, J. (1978). Antique Maps of Wales. Cambridge House Books. • Carmarthenshire County Council (1997) Gwendraeth Valleys. Stroud: Tempus. • Evans, M.C.S. (1988) ‘Forgotten Roads of Carmarthenshire: Carmarthen to Llanelli and the River Llwchwr’. Carmarthenshire Antiquary, Vol.12 • Davies, E.M. (1954) Story of Llandefaelog • Gerald of Wales (1188; published 1978) The Journey through Wales / The description of Wales. Penguin Books, Middlesex. • Hughes, E. (1999) Kidwelly: A History. Published by the author. • Hughes, E. (2003) Kidwelly: Memories of Yesteryear. Published by the author. • Hughes, L. (2002) A Carmarthenshire Anthology. Llandybie: Dinefwr Publishers • James, H. (1980) ‘Topographical notes of the early mediaeval borough of Kidwelly’. Carmarthenshire Antiquary, Vol.16 • John, T. and Rees, M. (2002) Pilgrimage: A Welsh Perspective. Llandysul: Gomer Press • Lewis, A.H.T. (1971). ‘Carmarthenshire highways of the late 18th century’. Carmarthenshire Antiquary, Vol.7 • Morris, W.H. (1960) ‘Walking the Boundary of the Borough of Kidwelly’. Carmarthenshire Antiquary, Vol.3 • Schlee, D (2014) TURNPIKE and PRE-TURNPIKE ROADS; Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Sites Scheduling Enhancement Project. Interim Report: Web-sites: • • • • • •