HERITAGE experts have disagreed over plans to install railings around a garden at Laugharne Castle.
Welsh heritage body Cadw said vandals have been throwing stones at pets in the garden by the castle’s outer gatehouse and applied to Carmarthenshire Council for planning permission to put up railings to deter them.
Because the castle is a listed building and scheduled ancient monument, Cadw was a statutory consultee, meaning its views were sought to help the council determine the proposal. It did not object to the application but the council’s own heritage team was less enthusiastic.
A heritage team response said the railings would be “incongruous” and would not preserve the character and appearance of the Laugharne Conservation Area. It also said the team was not aware of police reports of stone-throwing vandals.
The response advised that CCTV or increasing the height of the wall surrounding the garden would be better options than railings of just over five-and-a-half feet at their highest.
Laugharne Township Community Council objected to the application, saying that instances of vandalism were very minor. It added: “Members of the council have no recollection of seeing any young people in this area, which is in public view and adjacent to the main road through Laugharne.”
The county council went on to reject the application on the grounds put forward by its built heritage team.
Laugharne Castle dates from 1116 and was said to be where King Henry II and Rhys ap Gruffydd – also known as The Lord Rhys – agreed a peace treaty in the late 12th Century. It later changed hands twice during the English Civil War. The castle and its outer gatehouse are grade one-listed while the boundary wall to the west has a grade two designation.