Raven House

One of the lost buildings of Laugharne was an imposing Georgian dwelling called Raven House, which stood where the Jubilee Square car park is today, facing the castle wall. You can see it to the left of the above picture, taken from the castle tower. And below, seemingly massive at the top of Wogan St.

Formerly a grand Georgian house it became B.R. Thomas' Emporium, or department store. Kitty John, (a long-standing Laugharne resident) remembered her parents saying it was 'similar to Selfridges', and sold china, ironmongery, clothing etc. over three floors. Heavier goods could be bought in Ravenhall, which is featured elsewhere. Kitty still owns this china swan from the store.

Mr B.R. Thomas lived at Upton House and was a classic Victorian gentleman with a top hat and cane. Part of the back of the building facing the Town Hall became Market Stores, which later became the police station, before it moved to Orchard Park. It closed in the 1970s and now the police station in St Clears serves Laugharne.

Laugharnies are very reluctant to call the police. A story goes that when the phone rings in St Clears and someone reports that a fight is going on in a Laugharne pub, the police wait 30 minutes before leaving because inevitably the fight will have stopped and the combatants will have continued drinking together.

Above is a picture of the Laugharne Carnival which is the highlight of the year in Laugharne. This pic dates back to the 1920s, and you can see Raven House on the right, as well as the just visible outline of Tabernacle Chapel down Wogan St.

We can bemoan the loss of Raven House to widen the road, but to facilitate its construction in the early 19th century, a hunting lodge built circa 1110, and purportedly used by the Black Prince, son of Edward ll, was demolished.

Next door to Raven House was a pub called The Butchers Arms. It was demolished around the same time Raven House was pulled down, and flats were put up in its place, called Butcher's Court. You can see both buildings in this aerial pic from 1955.

Jubilee Gardens today

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