Environmental reconstruction at Island House, Laugharne

Activity: Consultancy


The principal aim of the project is to establish an environmental history for the Island House site in Laugharne (SN301107) from two interconnected perspectives: (i) channel dynamics of the River Coran, and (ii) sedimentation of the tidal inlet linked to the River Taf estuary. Although extensive archaeological surveys have been conducted in Laugharne, particularly linked with the castle site, there is not an equivalent depth of knowledge regarding the site’s broader environmental history. To build a more complete history of Laugharne, and how its development has potentially been influenced by interactions with the River Coran and the tidal inlet (linked to the Taf Estuary), there are several key questions that need addressing:

a) Murphy’s 2021 report for Dyfed Archaeological Trust suggests that the tidal inlet at Laugharne may have been bounded on both banks by operational wharfs and quays in the 14th century. Is there geomorphological/sedimentological evidence to support this conjecture?
b) The name ‘Island House’ implies that the site was once an island, possibly linked with a crossing point of the tidal inlet and/or River Coran. If this is the case, when did the island cease to function as such?
c) When did the tidal inlet silt up and over what timescale? Was the siltation driven by terrestrial or estuarine sediment sources, or a combination of both?
Period01 May 202130 Jan 2023
Work forIsland House Restoration Ltd
Degree of RecognitionRegional