The mother of King Henry II (the 'king' celebrated by King St) was from Flanders and when that land flooded in the 12th century he encouraged Flemish people to come to Laugharne and breed with the Welsh to dilute their antisocial traits. The plan was unsuccessful as those intermarrying carried the risk of being ostracised. However Flemish weavers thrived due to a good supply of spring water, a harbour for exporting and a similar climate. Their presence is partly responsible for the lack of Welsh in the area. Weavers' dwellings followed the Maquerelle (Mackarelle) stream from the west down to the Grist. If you walk up The Laques (pronounced 'lakes'), the last building on the public footpath before Hudgen field - a mediaeval open field (and the only one in Wales) - was once a Flemish cottage which still has its ancient well. Laques is Latin for 'lace'.
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