Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dafen, Llanelli - My Home Village & Town

Llanelli is known for its coal mining, tinplate & to date Dyfed Steel, Rugby, go 'Scarlet’s', and there are many Chapels, some of which are no-longer in use but stand there with their beauty, gathering weeds and wasting away. There is also the oldest brewery in Wales, called Felinfoel Brewery and a reservoir called Swiss Valley (another favorite place of mine) to name a few.

Swiss Valley Reservoir

Llanelli is where I was born and I grew up in the small village of Dafen. I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood and the friends I made. Llanelli beach is roughly twenty minutes drive from where I lived, give or take depending on traffic. Before I was born, my parents and my two elder sisters lived at, 49 Gors Fach, Dafen. I can't remember when we moved up the street to # 13 Y Waun, Dafen our new home, it was either just before or just after I came long (Sadly, it has been completely torn down, leaving a field of grass) I was born in  Glasfryn Maternity House, which is across the street from Parc Haward.

Llanelli Beach

Glasfryn Maternity House
Where I was born.

My home in, Y-Waun was built opposite a small river. I remember one day being asked to try out the Tarzan swing, that the neighbor kids made. What fun it was, although for a 6 year old, the river seemed massive and the Tarzan swing, extremely high up. On the other side of the river was lush green farmland and dotted here, and there were abandoned milking, and feeding sheds for cows. About 10 minutes of walking through those farm fields, you came to an Old Peoples Home, called T'y Gelli (which of course was off limits) but it had the biggest, Weeping Willow Tree, I had ever seen. It beckoned my sisters and I to run across the garden lawn, and sneak under it branches to play. I lived at # 13 Y Waun, until I was 8 years old. It was a happy time and many memories were made there (even having a street party celebrating, Queen Elizabeths Silver Jubliee)
Then we moved to Bryngwyn Bach (Where, my father still lives today)

St. Michaels and All Angels Church, Dafen
Our village's church.

Dafen Park 

Dafen Park Cricket Ground

Dafen Park. 

Dafen park, is where I spent many hours playing on the swings, slide and watching cricket matches or peek over the tall privet hedges to look at the immaculate bowling green. The park also had a community hall where I went to disco's! My 1st time was on my 13th birthday. 

I have many favorite places in my home town of Llanelli, and the one I want to share with you today, is a place that still stands today. It is a place my mother would take my sisters and me to visit, and play. When I'm lucky enough to fly home to Wales to visit my family, I make sure to stop by and absorb it's surrounding beauty, its history and its Mansion. Not to mention, jogging my memories of the wonderful times, I experienced there as a child and an adult, as well as my own children growing to love visiting Parc Howard.

Parc Howard

Parc Howard & its Bandstand

This place is ParcHowardParcHoward is an 18th Century Italianate architecture country house converted into a museum and Art Gallery, and if you ever find yourself passing through Llanelli, it is a must to visit. I love reading about who lived there, how they lived and the general day to day living. The outside architectural design is awe inspiring, clad in Bath Stone and all around the building, it's topped with a balustrade parapet with urns. Its grounds are kept immaculate and from spring till fall, an array of different flowers is in full bloom, covering the ground like a beautiful oil painting. On the grounds in front and left of the Mansion, sits a pond which house ducks and fish, off to the right is a remodeled Bandstand and further down from that are the sunken gardens. 

The Sunken Gardens at Parc Howard
I could only find this picture - I don't know who the people are in the picture. I hope they don't mind me using it :)

The Sunken Gardens were my mother's favorite place, to sit, relax and admire all the beautiful flowers, and shrubbery. She'd watch us play hide and go seek amongst the bushes, dart behind the old oak trees and watch us pick my favorite flower, the Bluebell. It also has two playgrounds, a bowling green, a paddling pool, many tree lined walking paths that all lead back to the Museum and also on site is a ring of Gorsedd Stones, with a central flat stone altar, (It looks something like Stonehenge)

Gorsedd Stones at Parc Howard

The inside of ParcHoward; is just as beautiful. As you open the heavy solid wood door and step through into large main foyer, the first thing you see is the grand staircase. It is something of beauty and elegance, and begs you to glide your fingertips along its banister and if your lucky, and no-one is around, you will want to slide down it! (Which I've done too many times to count and got caught once by the attendant there! Oops... Who just smiled... Lol)

Stepping into this wonderful country home/museum/gallery, it's as if, we are stepping back in time, in which we can imagine ourselves playing out a scene from the TV show, Downton Abbey:) albeit we are in jeans and a T-shirt, not the luxurious dress and corsets of the day!

Parc Howard is a rare beauty, that holds many wonderful stories and it's even deemed to be haunted! I will always love Parc Howard and the memories I made there all of which, I hold dear to my heart. 

Pictures of Parc Howard.

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