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An Ancient Story Ends In Ruin

Among those houses that have long been landmarks to Carmarthenshire people, but now being menaced by the engines of demolition, is the ancient residence of Rhydygors overlooking the Towy a short distance from the county town. This area has always been significant in the story of Carmarthen, for across the river the first Norman fortification was raised to protect the important crossing before the year 1100, about which time a powerful castle began to arise on the site of the present County Hall. rhydygors.thumb.jpg

As times became more settled, a residence was built above the north bank of the river and it is on this site that the present house of Rhydygors stands. Little is known of its medieval history apart from the fact that the first occupiers were the Winters, who are said to have arrived in the train of the forces that made Carmarthen castle their headquarters. Eventually Rhydygors passed by marriage to Welsh families and in Tudor times the children of Edward ap John adopted his christian name as their patronymic, the form Edwards later becoming Edwardes.

The Edwardes family were to produce many who were to hold high office in the town and county. Among the more distinguished was David Edwardes, Borough Sheriff in 1680, who brought order and system to Welsh genealogy and was largely responsible for the manuscripts known as the Golden Grove Books. Another David Edwardes, born 1716, became an admiral. The family ceased to occupy the house early in this century.

The roughcast stone front of the building, coloured red, is eighteenth century; the back is probably seventeenth century.


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