Llansteffan anglicized as Llan- or Lanstephan, is a village and a community situated on the south coast of Carmarthenshire, lying on the estuary of the River Tywi, 7 miles south of Carmarthen. The community is bordered by the communities of: Laugharne Township. Llansteffan means "parish of Saint Stephen", but honours a 6th-century Welsh associate of Saint Teilo rather than the more known protomartyr; the parish of Llansteffan consists of two distinct villages with separate churches: Llansteffan by the estuary and Llanybri inland on the hilltop. St Ystyffan's church is a grade II* listed building. Between the castle and village sits Plas Llanstephan, Lord Kylsant's former residence, a grade II* listed building Llansteffan Castle, built by the Normans in the 12th century and granted to the Marmion family, stands above the village on a promontory commanding the estuary passage. Located between the ferry crossing-points of the Tywi and Tâf rivers, Llansteffan was an important staging post on the Normans' coastal route from Glamorgan via Kidwelly to Pembroke.
An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches north from Llansteffan to include Llangynog and Llangain, with a total population of 2,006. Dylan Thomas had strong family links to Llansteffan; the triangle formed by Llangynog and Llansteffan constitutes as Thomas once put it, "breeding-box valley". His mother's family, the Williamses, lived within this triangle in farms such as Waunfwlchan, Llwyngwyn and Penycoed, his mother’s half-sister, lived in Rose Cottage in the village. Osi Rhys Osmond, lived in Llansteffan for 30 years until his death. Llanybri Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan Community website
Ceredigion is a county in Wales, known prior to 1974 as Cardiganshire. During the second half of the first millennium Ceredigion was a minor kingdom, it has been administered as a county since 1282. Welsh is spoken by more than half the population. Ceredigion is considered to be a centre of Welsh culture; the county is rural with over 50 miles of coastline and a mountainous hinterland. The numerous sandy beaches, together with the long-distance Ceredigion Coast Path provide excellent views of Cardigan Bay. In the 18th and early 19th century, Ceredigion had more industry; the economy became dependent on dairy farming and the rearing of livestock for the English market. During the 20th century, livestock farming became less profitable, the county's population declined as people moved to the more prosperous parts of Wales or emigrated. However, there has been a population increase caused by elderly people moving to the county for retirement, various government initiatives have encouraged tourism and other alternative sources of income.
Ceredigion's population at the 2011 UK census was 75,900. Its largest town, Aberystwyth, is one of the other being Aberaeron. Aberystwyth houses Bronglais Hospital and the National Library of Wales. Lampeter is home to part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Ceredigion has been inhabited since prehistoric times. A total of 170 hill forts and enclosures have been identified across the county and there are many standing stones dating back to the Bronze Age. Around the time of the Roman invasion of Britain, the area was between the realms of the Demetae and Ordovices; the Sarn Helen road ran through the territory, with forts at Bremia and Loventium protecting gold mines near present-day Llelio. Following the Roman withdrawal, Irish raids and invasions were repulsed by the forces under a northerner named Cunedda; the 9th-century History of the Britons attributed to Nennius records that Cunedda's son Ceredig settled the area around the Teifi in the 5th century. The territory remained a minor kingdom under his dynasty until its extinction upon the drowning of Gwgon ap Meurig c.
871, after which it was administered by Rhodri Mawr of Gwynedd before passing to his son Cadell, whose son Hywel Dda inherited its neighbouring kingdom Dyfed and established the realm of Deheubarth. Records are obscure. Many pilgrims passed through Cardiganshire on their way to St Davids; some came by sea and made use of the churches at Mwnt and Penbryn, while others came by land seeking hospitality at such places as Strata Florida Abbey. Both the abbey and Llanbadarn Fawr were important monastic sites of education. Place names including ysbyty denote their association with pilgrims. In 1282, Edward I of England divided the area into counties. One of thirteen traditional counties in Wales, Cardiganshire was a vice-county. Cardiganshire was split into the five hundreds of Genau'r-Glyn, Moyddyn and Troedyraur. Pen-y-wenallt was home to seventeenth Theophilus Evans. In the 18th century there was an evangelical revival of Christianity, non-conformism became established in the county as charismatic preachers like Daniel Rowland of Llangeitho attracted large congregations.
Every community built its own chapel or meeting house, Cardiganshire became one of the centres of Methodism in Wales with the Aeron Valley being at the centre of the revival. Cardigan was one of the major ports of southern Wales until its harbour silted in the mid-19th century; the Industrial Revolution passed by, not much affecting the area. In the uplands, wheeled vehicles were rare in the 18th century, horses and sleds were still being used for transport. On the coast, trade in herrings and corn took place across the Irish Sea. In the 19th century, many of the rural poor emigrated to the New World from Cardigan, between five and six thousand leaving the town between 1790 and 1860. Aberystwyth became the main centre for the export of lead and Aberaeron and Newquay did brisk coastal trade; the building of the railway from Shrewsbury in the 1860s encouraged visitors and hotels sprang up in the town to accommodate them. This area of the county of Dyfed became a district of Wales under the name Ceredigion in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, since 1996, has formed the county of Ceredigion.
According to the 2001 census, Ceredigion has the fourth highest proportion of Welsh speakers in the population at 61%. Ceredigion is a coastal county, bordered by Cardigan Bay to the west, Gwynedd to the north, Powys to the east, Carmarthenshire to the south and Pembrokeshire to the south-west, its area is 1,795 square kilometres. In 2010 the population was 76,938; the main settlements are Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Llanarth, Llanddewi Brefi, Llanilar, Llanon, New Quay, Tregaron. The largest of these are Cardigan; the Cambrian Mountains cover much of the east of the county. In the south and west, the surface is less elevated; the highest point is Pumlumon at 2,467 feet, other Marilyns include Llan Ddu Fawr. On the slopes
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
The Normans are an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans, Norse Viking settlers. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark and Iceland, they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia; the distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged in the first half of the 10th century, it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries. The Norman dynasty had a major political and military impact on medieval Europe and the Near East; the Normans were famed for their martial spirit and for their Catholic piety, becoming exponents of the Catholic orthodoxy of the Romance community into which they assimilated. They adopted the Gallo-Romance language of the Frankish land they settled, their dialect becoming known as Norman, Normaund or Norman French, an important literary language, still spoken today in parts of Normandy and the nearby Channel Islands.
The Duchy of Normandy, which they formed by treaty with the French crown, was a great fief of medieval France, under Richard I of Normandy was forged into a cohesive and formidable principality in feudal tenure. The Normans are noted both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture and musical traditions, for their significant military accomplishments and innovations. Norman adventurers played a role in founding the Kingdom of Sicily under Roger II after conquering southern Italy and Malta from the Saracens and Byzantines, during an expedition on behalf of their duke, William the Conqueror, which led to the Norman conquest of England at the historic Battle of Hastings in 1066. In the ninth century, the Normans captured Seville in Southern Spain, Norman and Anglo-Norman forces contributed to the Iberian Reconquista from the early eleventh to the mid-thirteenth centuries. Norman cultural and military influence spread from these new European centres to the Crusader states of the Near East, where their prince Bohemond I founded the Principality of Antioch in the Levant, to Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, to Ireland, to the coasts of north Africa and the Canary Islands.
The legacy of the Normans persists today through the regional languages and dialects of France, England and Sicily, as well as the various cultural and political arrangements they introduced in their conquered territories. The English name "Normans" comes from the French words Normans/Normanz, plural of Normant, modern French normand, itself borrowed from Old Low Franconian Nortmann "Northman" or directly from Old Norse Norðmaðr, Latinized variously as Nortmannus, Normannus, or Nordmannus to mean "Norseman, Viking"; the 11th century Benedictine monk and historian, Goffredo Malaterra, characterised the Normans thus: Specially marked by cunning, despising their own inheritance in the hope of winning a greater, eager after both gain and dominion, given to imitation of all kinds, holding a certain mean between lavishness and greediness, uniting, as they did, these two opposite qualities. Their chief men were specially lavish through their desire of good report, they were, moreover, a race skillful in flattery, given to the study of eloquence, so that the boys were orators, a race altogether unbridled unless held down by the yoke of justice.
They were enduring of toil and cold whenever fortune laid it on them, given to hunting and hawking, delighting in the pleasure of horses, of all the weapons and garb of war. In the course of the 10th century, the destructive incursions of Norse war bands going upstream into the rivers of France penetrated further into interior Europe, evolved into more permanent encampments that included local French women and personal property; the Duchy of Normandy, which began in 911 as a fiefdom, was established by the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and the famed Viking ruler Rollo known as Gaange Rolf, from Scandinavia, was situated in the former Frankish kingdom of Neustria. The treaty offered Rollo and his men the French coastal lands along the English Channel between the river Epte and the Atlantic Ocean coast in exchange for their protection against further Viking incursions; as well as granting to protect the area of Rouen from Viking invasion, Rollo had to swear not to invade further Frankish lands himself, accept baptism and conversion to the Roman Catholic faith of Christianity becoming Christian and swear fealty to King Charles III.
He became the first Duke of Count of Rouen. The area corresponded to the northern part of present-day Upper Normandy down to the river Seine, but the Duchy would extend west beyond the Seine; the territory was equivalent to the old province of Rouen, reproduced the old Roman Empire's administrative structure of Gallia Lugdunensis II. Before Rollo's arrival, Normandy's populations did not differ from Picardy or the Île-de-France, which were considered "Frankish". Earlier Viking settlers had begun arriving in the 880s, but were divided between colonies in the east around the low Seine valley and in the west in the Cotentin Peninsula, were separated by traditional pagii, where the population remained about the same with no foreign settlers. Rollo's contingents from Scandinavia who raided and settled Normandy and parts of the European Atlantic coast included Danes, Norse–Gaels, Orkney Vikings, p
Carmarthen is the county town of Carmarthenshire in Wales and a community. It lies on the River Towy 8 miles north of its estuary in Carmarthen Bay. Carmarthen has a claim to be the oldest town in Wales – Old Carmarthen and New Carmarthen became one borough in 1546. Carmarthen was the most populous borough in Wales in the 16th–18th centuries, described by William Camden as "the chief citie of the country". Growth was stagnating by the mid-19th century, as new economic centres developed in the South Wales coalfield; the population in 2011 was 14,185, down from 15,854 in 2001. Dyfed–Powys Police headquarters, Glangwili General Hospital and a campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are located in Carmarthen; when Britannia was a Roman province, Carmarthen was the civitas capital of the Demetae tribe, known as Moridunum. It is the oldest town in Wales, recorded by Ptolemy and in the Antonine Itinerary; the Roman fort is believed to date from about AD 75. A Roman coin hoard was found nearby in 2006.
Near the fort is one of seven surviving Roman amphitheatres in Britain and only two in Roman Wales. It was excavated in 1968; the arena itself is 50 by 30 yards. Veprauskas has argued for its identification as the Cair Guorthigirn listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britains. Evidence of the early Roman town has been investigated for a number of years, uncovering urban sites to date from the second century. During the Middle Ages, the settlement was known as Llanteulyddog and accounted one of the seven principal sees in Dyfed; the strategic importance of Carmarthen was such that the Norman William fitz Baldwin built a castle there about 1094. The current castle site is known to have been used since 1105; the castle itself was destroyed by Llywelyn the Great in 1215 but rebuilt in 1223, when permission was granted to build a town wall and crenellate the town, making it one of the first medieval walled towns in Wales. In 1405, the town was captured and the castle was sacked by Owain Glyndŵr.
The Black Book of Carmarthen, written about 1250, is associated with the town's Priory of SS John the Evangelist and Teulyddog. The Black Death of 1347–49 arrived in Carmarthen through the thriving river trade, it devastated villages such as Llanllwch. Local historians site the plague pit for the mass burial of the dead in the graveyard that adjoins the Maes-yr-Ysgol and Llys Model housing at the rear of St Catherine Street; the ancient Clas church of Llandeulyddog was an independent, pre-Norman religious community which became in 1110 the Benedictine Priory of St Peter, only to be replaced 15 years by the Augustianian Priory of St John the Evangelist and St Teulyddog. This stood at what is now Priory Street; the site is now a scheduled monument. During the 13th century, Franciscan Friars became established in the town, by 1284 had their own Friary buildings on Lammas Street, on a site now occupied by a shopping centre; the Franciscan emphasis on poverty and simplicity meant the Church was smaller and more austere than the older foundations, but this did not prevent the accumulation of treasures, it became a much sought after location for burial.
In 1456 Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond died of plague in Carmarthen, three months before the birth of his son, the future King Henry VII. Edmund was buried in a prominent tomb in the centre of the choir of the Grey Friars Church. Other notable burials were of Rhys ap Tudur Aled; the Friary was dissolved in 1538, many unsuccessful plans were made for the building. Before the friars had left, in 1536, William Barlow campaigned to have the cathedral moved into it, from St David's, where the tomb and remains of Edmund Tudor were moved after the Carmarthen buildings were deconsecrated. There were repeated abortive attempts to turn the buildings into a grammar school, they became ruined, although the church walls were still recognisable in the mid-18th century. By 1900 all the stonework had been stripped away and there were no traces above ground; the site remained undeveloped until the 1980s and 1990s, after extensive archaeological excavations of first the monastic buildings and the nave and chancel of the church.
These confirmed that the former presence of a church, a chapter house and a large cloister, with a smaller cloister and infirmary added subsequently. Over 200 graves were found in 60 around the friars' choir. According to some variants of the Arthurian legend, Merlin was born in a cave outside Carmarthen; the town's Welsh name, Caerfyrddin, is claimed to mean "Merlin's fort", but it is suggested the reality may be the other way around, that the name Merlin may have originated from the town's name in the anglicised form of Myrddin.. An alternative explanation is. Furthermore, many areas surrounding Carmarthen still allude to this, such as nearby Bryn Myrddin. Legend had it that if a particular tree called Merlin's Oak fell, it would be the downfall of the town. Translated from Welsh, it reads: "When Merlin's Oak comes tumbling down, down shall fall Carmarthen Town." To obstruct this, the tree was dug up when pieces of it remain in the town museum. The Black Book
Strata Florida Abbey
Strata Florida Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey situated just outside Pontrhydfendigaid, near Tregaron in the county of Ceredigion, Wales. The abbey was founded in 1164. "Strata Florida" is a Latinisation of the Welsh Ystrad Fflur. The Welsh word ystrad is synonymous with "strath" and "dale", while fflur is the name of the nearby river. After the region around St Davids was occupied by the Norman Marcher lordship of Pembroke by the early 12th century, with St Davids under Norman influence thereafter, the princely Dinefwr family of Deheubarth transferred their patronage to Strata Florida, interred many of their family members there; the Monastery was founded in 1164 by the Cambro-Norman Knight Robert FitzStephen. In the 12th century, Cistercian monks from Whitland Abbey, Carmarthenshire started to construct a religious settlement on the banks of the Afon Fflur, a short distance from the present site; this was at a time of fast expansion of the Cistercian order. The site of this first settlement is known as Hen Fynachlog.
Around 1164 the Abbey of Strata Florida was founded through the patronage of Rhys ap Gruffydd. In 1184, a further charter was issued by Lord Rhys, reaffirming Strata Florida as a monastery under the patronage of Deheubarth, a principality of South Wales. Several descendants of the Lord Rhys have been buried at this Abbey, including 11 princes of the Welsh royal house of Dinefwr of Deheubarth during the 12th and 13th centuries Notable burials include Prince Gruffydd ap Rhys II and poet Dafydd ap Gwilym; the church was consecrated in 1201. Strata Florida became an powerful religious centre. Around 1238, Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth held a council at Strata Florida, it was here that he made the other Welsh leaders acknowledge his son Dafydd as his rightful successor. Strata Florida controlled many farms throughout Wales; the most important primary historical source for early Welsh history, the Brut y Tywysogion, was compiled at Strata Florida. In 1401, during the early years of Owain Glyndŵr's rebellion, Strata Florida Abbey was taken by King Henry IV and his son.
The monks were deemed to be sympathetic to Glyndŵr, so they were evicted from the monastery, plundered. Henry IV turned the religious buildings into a military base as he planned to capture or defeat any Welsh rebel forces active in the area. By 1402 the Earl of Worcester held the Abbey for the English Crown with a garrison of several hundred men-at-arms and foot soldiers, it continued to be used as a military base for further campaigns against the Welsh rebels in 1407 and 1415. The monastic site was returned to the Cistercians with the end of the Glyndŵr rebellion. Beginning in 1539, Henry VIII used his dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church in Rome to dissolve and sack the monasteries of England and Wales. Strata Florida Abbey was dissolved in 1539 by church commissioners; the buildings and their contents were valued and sold off. The church and most of the ancillary buildings were demolished for building materials such as the window glass and stone as well as the roof tiles and lead. However, the refectory and dormitory were rebuilt as a house for the local gentry.
The property has been owned by a number of notable families including the Steadmans and the Powells of Nanteos. Much of the former monastic lands of the Cistercian abbey at Strata Florida were given to Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex who sold them on to Sir John Vaughan, of Trawsgoed. Through his marriage to Jane Stedman, daughter of John Stedman of Ystrad Fflur and Cilcennin, he gained more land on which to create the large Trawsgoed estate; the present parish church of St. Mary, within the boundaries of the graveyard, may have been built with stone taken from the monastic site. Following its dissolution, the site of Strata Florida Abbey was left to deteriorate, it was not until the coming of the railways in the late 19th century that interest in the site was rekindled. Stephen Williams, a railway engineer, was surveying a possible route through the area when he took an interest in the ruins; as Williams was a founder member of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, he invited the group to the site in 1848.
Following this visit the Association leased the Abbey site in order to create better displays and presentations to the public. Williams, to become a leading expert on the archaeology of the Cistercian Order, was placed in charge of excavations. Over the next few years, he removed huge amounts of spoil, to uncover the majority of remains that are still on view today. Interest in the ruins brought in wealthy Victorians by railway. Strata Florida, a principal station on the Carmarthen Aberystwyth Line, was named after the Abbey. About the Abbey the 1851 Illustrated London Reading Book says: The remains of Strata Florida Abbey, in South Wales, are most interesting in many points of view, more as the relics of a stately seminary for learning, founded as early as 1164; the community of the Abbey were Cistercian monks, who soon attained great celebrity, acquired extensive possessions. They founded a large library that included national records from the earliest periods, works of the bards, genealogies of the Princes and great families in Wales.
The monks compiled a valuable history of the Principality, down to the death of Llewellyn the Great. When Edward I invaded Wales, he burned the Abbey, but it was rebuilt A. D. 1294. Extensive woods once flourished in the vicinity of Strata Florida, its burial-place covered no less than 120 acres. A long list of eminent persons from all parts of Wales were buried, and
Tenby is a walled seaside town in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on the western side of Carmarthen Bay. Tenby is a local government community. Notable features include 2 1⁄2 miles of sandy beaches and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, the 13th century medieval town walls, including the Five Arches barbican gatehouse, Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, the 15th century St. Mary's Church, the National Trust's Tudor Merchant's House; the town is served by Tenby railway station. Boats sail from Tenby's harbour to the offshore monastic Caldey Island. St Catherine's Island has a 19th century Palmerston Fort. With its strategic position on the far west coast of Britain, a natural sheltered harbour from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, Tenby was a natural settlement point a hill fort with the mercantile nature of the settlement developing under Hiberno-Norse influence; the earliest reference to a settlement at Tenby is in "Etmic Dinbych", a poem from the 9th century, preserved in the 14th century Book of Taliesin.
Tenby was taken by the Normans. The town's first stone-wall fortification was on Castle Hill. Tenby's mercantile trade grew as it developed as a major seaport in Norman controlled Little England beyond Wales. However, the need for additional defences became paramount after the settlement and castle were attacked and sacked by Welsh forces of Maredudd ap Gruffydd and Rhys ap Gruffydd in 1153. Sacking of the town was repeated in 1187 and again by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1260. After the final attack, William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke ordered the construction of the Tenby town walls in the late 13th century; the stone curtain wall and gates enclosed a large part of the settlement—now known as the "old town". With the construction of the town walls, Tenby Castle was made obsolete and had been abandoned by the end of the 14th century. In 1457, Jasper Tudor, the uncle of Henry Tudor, agreed to share with the town's merchants the costs of refurbishing and improving Tenby's defences because of its economic importance to this part of Wales.
Work included heightening the wall to include a second tier of higher arrow slits behind a new parapet walk. Additional turret towers were added to the ends of the walls where they abutted the cliff edges, the dry ditch outside walls was widened to 30 feet. In the Late Middle Ages, Tenby was awarded royal grants to finance the maintenance and improvement of its defences and the enclosure of its harbour. Traders sailed along the coast to Bristol and Ireland and further afield to France and Portugal. Exports included wool, canvas, coal and oil, it was during this period that the town was so busy and important, it was considered to be a national port. During the Wars of the Roses Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VII of England, sheltered at Tenby before sailing into exile in 1471. In the mid 16th century, the large D-shaped tower known as the "Five Arches" was built following fears of a second Spanish Armada. Two key events caused the town permanent decline in importance. First, Tenby declared for Parliament in the English Civil War.
After resisting two attempts by the Royalists forces of Charles Gerard, 1st Earl of Macclesfield, it was taken in 1648. Ten weeks the shattered town was surrendered to Colonel Thomas Horton, who welcomed Oliver Cromwell shortly afterwards. Second, a plague outbreak killed half of the town's remaining population in 1650. With limited infrastructure and people, the town's economy fell into decline. Most of the merchant and business class left, resulting in the town's ruin. By the end of the 18th century, John Wesley noted during his visit how: "Two-thirds of the old town is in ruins or has vanished. Pigs roam among the abandoned houses and Tenby presents a dismal spectacle." It was another war that led to a resurgence in Tenby's fortunes. Since 1798, the French General Napoleon Bonaparte had begun conquering Europe restricting the rich British upper classes from making their Grand Tours to continental spa towns. In 1802 local resident, merchant banker and politician, Sir William Paxton, bought his first property in the old town.
From this point onwards he invested in the area with the full approval of the town council. With the growth in saltwater sea-bathing for health purposes, Paxton engaged engineer James Grier and architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell to create a "fashionable bathing establishment suitable for the highest society." His sea-bathing baths came into operation in July 1806 and, after acquiring the Globe Inn, transformed it into "a most lofty and convenient style" to lodge the more elegant visitors to his baths. Cottages were erected adjoining the baths with adjoining livery stables and coach house. A road was built on arches overlooking the harbour at Paxton's full expense in 1814, he had a Private Act of Parliament passed. Despite these accomplishments, his 1809 theatre was closed in 1818 due to lack of patronage. Paxton took in "tour" developments in the area as required by rich Victorian tourists; this included the discovery of a chalybeate spring in his own park at Middleton Hall, coaching inns from Swansea to Narberth.
He built Paxton's Tower, in memorial to Lord Nelson whom he had met in 1802 when mayor of Carmarthen. Paxton's efforts to revive the town succeeded and after the Battle of Trafalgar, the growth of Victorian Tenby was inevitable. Through both the Georgian and Victorian eras Tenby was renowned as a health resor