Dylan Thomas described the small town of Laugharne in South Wales as a “timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town.”
‘The Boathouse’– a house overlooking the Taf Estuary and Gower Peninsula, was where Dylan lived with his family for the final four years of his life.
He worked in the Writing Shed above the Boathouse with its remarkable and inspiring views of four estuaries, and it was here he wrote the poems “Do Not Go Gentle,” “Poem on His Birthday,” and “Over Sir John’s Hill”
A favourite haunt of Dylan’s was the bar at Brown’s Hotel in Laugharne, where he would visit on a daily basis- sometimes with his wife Caitlin.
Here he would sit in his favourite bay window drinking Buckley’s beer in half-pints, writing, reading the papers, and bantering with his drinking companions. Thomas certainly liked his beer- a good example being the description of his first pint of Welsh beer:
“I liked the taste of beer, its live white lather, its brass-bright depths, the sudden world through the wet brown walls of the glass, the tilted rush to the lips and the slow swallowing down to the lapping belly, the salt on the tongue, the foam at the corners.”
From 1949 to 1953 Dylan made four trips to North America where he was immensely successful. Commissions poured in and he commanded massive fees. Thomas died in hospital in New York in 1953, shortly after the first performance of Under Milk Wood, aged 39.
His Body was repatriated and buried in St Matin’s Churchyard, Laugharne, and his wake held at Brown’s Hotel, (as was Caitlin’s in 1994). Caitlin is Buried alongside him.
Brown’s Hotel has become established as a venue for the ‘Laugharne Annual Literary & Arts Festival’ that takes place each April, and a regular pilgrimage for his many devotees.