The town of Ammanford lies 18 miles south east of Carmarthen in South West Wales. It is 6 miles from the famous Brecon Beacons National Park, and is the third largest town in the county of Carmarthenshire. The river Avan flows through the town before its confluence with the river Loughor at Pantyffynnon, 1 mile south of Ammanford. The A483 road also passes through, leading to Llandeilo in the north, and joins with the M4 5 mile south west of Ammanford.
In 1925 a riot known as the Ammanford Anthracite Strike took place in the town. For ten days anthracite miners attempted to take control of the town by using force and violence. Even the police could not stand against the strikers, as 200 of them were ambushed at Pontamman Bridge. Eventually the strikers were forced back to Ammanford and surrendered and returned to the mines.
Carreg Cennen, near Llandeilo, is well worth a visit. Although there were many different castles built on the site, the first was built during the 12th century by Welsh Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth. However, the original castle is believed to date back to the Dark Ages when it was in the hands of Urien Rheged, Lord of Iskennen, and his son Owain.
From Deheubarth, the castle passed into the hands of his descendant Rhys Fychan, who was betrayed by his mother when she gave the castle to the English. Rhys managed to regain the castle in 1248, but no more luck would come his way: the castle was first taken by his uncle, Marededd ap Rhys Gryg, and then by King Edward I in 1277.
It never returned to the Welsh. Because the castle's owners sided with the Lancastrians during the War of the Roses, after 1461, which saw the Yorkists rise to victory, the castle was destroyed and replaced with the present fortification. The castle was certainly an impressive building: there was a great kitchen, many towers, and a gatehouse complete with drawbridge, arrowslits, battlements and two portcullises. Although all of this has now gone, the impressive ruins can still be greatly appreciated.