...The cradle of kings, stronghold of one of the ancient kingdoms of Wales. Carmarthenshire - the 'Garden of Wales' - is rich in myths and folklore, part of the weft and weave of this spectacular rural landscape...
Carmarthenshire is one of the old counties of Wales. Once, this was the cradle of kings and stronghold of one of the ancient kingdoms, Deheubarth. Even before that, it was home to the Demetae, the Celtic Iron Age people of this place, who began to draw our language from the land. The Romans made it the most westerly stronghold of their Empire, recognising the strategic importance of controlling the passage up the Towy towards the heart of what we today call Wales.
Countless peoples from across the world have journeyed up and down its rivers: Romans collecting gold mined at Dolaucothi, Mediterranean merchants bringing fine goods to the courts of Deheubarth and powerful kings and warlords doing homage to the lords of Dinefwr; coracle fishermen at twilight in search of silvered salmon and sewin, galleons gathering agricultural goods - grain, dairy and of course wool, and silent ships carrying smuggled cargo.
Merlin, King Arthur and his knights, healing maidens from deep mountain lakes, tricksters, dragons, horse queens and saintly miracles are all part of our story here, part of the weft and weave of our landscape. Not surprisingly, a passion for this place has inspired countless artists and painters, hymn writers, poets and musicians, and ignited the passions of politicians and freedom fighters alike. Our rivers sing of yellow gold and black gold exported throughout the world, of the tinc of pick on rock, of miner's song, of the Daughters of Rebecca's cries, of the drovers' journeys, of the Physicians of Myddfai's healing words.
Carmarthenshire is one of the strongholds of the Welsh language. It resounds with words as soft as the hills, with vowels broad as our river valleys, with consonants as rugged as our mountains.
It is a place where the indigenous culture of Wales is part and parcel of everyday life. Today, this county, known as 'The Garden of Wales' is a haven for visitors looking to mine our traditions and culture, to explore our landscape and stories and taste the rich flavours of this special place.