Llanstephan or Llansteffan

May 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Llanstephan is situated on the western bank of the river Towy, opposite Ferryside and the nearest large town is Carmarthen just 8 miles up river. A long sandy beach with cockle beds takes you to Scott's Bay and Warley Point where the Towy, Taf and Gwendraith all pour into Carmarthen Bay. The name derives from the 6th century Saint Ystyffan/Steffan, an associate of Saint Teilo.

Looking south towards Llansteffan CastleWalking on Llanstephan Beach

There has been a settlement at Llanstephan since the Bronze Age. There are remnants of a Bronze Age fort on which the Normans built a stone castle on conquering the area in the early 12th century. Llansteffan used to be a port and was granted borough status but its strategic importance declined by the 16th century. Owen Glyndwr briefly took the castle in around 1403 - one of the last battles to be fought in the area. After that time the area was ravaged by poor harvests and plague.


Llansteffan Castle standing above the river TowyLlansteffan

 

The railway reached Carmarthen in 1852 and this brought a change of fortune to Llansteffan. The ferry service from Kidwelly and Laugharne used to conect with trains arriving in Ferryside station and Llanstephan expanded in size with large houses being built to accommodate visitors.


Cockle beds in Scotts Bay, LlanteffanCockle Beds in Scott's Bay

 

Today there are lots of walks, either along the beach or around the village countryside. Fishing and cockling are very popular with the Towy being famous for its salmon and sea-trout.


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