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The Dylan Thomas Trail in new Quay

Although Dylan Thomas only lived for a short time during the second world war in New Quay, it is widely believed that many locations and colourful local residents in the town became the basis of the 
characters in his most widely acclaimed work 'Under Milk Wood'.

 




The Author David Thomas, in his recently published book 'Dylan Thomas, A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow', has put together a convincing case that New Quay is the inspiration of Thomas's Llareggub (read it backwards!). Details of the 'Dylan trail' in his book 'The Dylan Thomas Trail' ( Published by Y Lolfa Cyf, Talybont, 2002, 6.95) take the visitor to a number of locations identified as models for locales in the fictional Llareggub.

Ceredigion Council provides a leaflet entitled 'Dylan Thomas - New Quay' available from the New Quay and Aberaeron Tourist Offices (below). 
This page takes you to the locations mentioned in New Quay
 

 

 


 

 

Trail marker 1

The Trail starts at the New Quay Tourist Office. This modern building is built on the site of a former Lime Kiln. 

 

 

 


 

 

London House - opposite the Tourist Office, was once the home and shop of Dylan Thomas' friend Norman Evans. He was thought to be the inspiration for 'Under Milk Wood's' 'Nogood Boyo'.
 




 

 


 

Trail marker 2

Just up Chapel Street from the tourist Office is the pub called the Dolau Inn. This was the favourite pub of Caitlin, Dylan's wife. It was also frequented by Alistair Graham, Evelyn Waugh's lover and nephew of the Duchess of Montrose. Graham was Dylan's inspiration for 'Lord Cut-Glass' as well as the basis of the character of Sebastian Flyte in 'Brideshead revisited'. The actors Richard Burton and Paul Schofield also drank here when visiting New Quay. The pub has now closed and is to be converted to accommodation by Brains Brewery.




 


 

Trail marker 3


The building that now houses the public toilets was once the old lifeboat station. Retired sea captains would meet here daily to gossip and it became known as Cnwc y Glap.

 



 


 


Opposite is the 'Blue Bell', once owned by Auntie Cat.  This image is a still from the film, 'The constant husband, starring Rex Harrison and filmed within 10 years of Dylan's stay in New Quay.

Both the Blue Bell, which is now an upmarket bistro and the New Quay Hotel behind, which is now shops and apartments, look very different today.
 

 


 


The Post Office in Dylan's time

 


Trail marker 4


The 'Hungry Trout' Restaurant has now closed down and is for sale and has a fine view over Cardigan Bay. It used to be the post office where Dylan Thomas posted his scripts to London. 


 

 


 


Trail marker 5


The Black Lion Hotel was Dylan's favourite and was owned by his friend Jack Pat (Patrick). Gomer House across the road was the home of Captain Tom Polly, Dylan's inspiration for Captain Cat.




 


 

Trail marker 6
 

The Sea Horse used to be known as the 'Commercial'. Prior to that it was known as the Sailor's Home Arms - providing the name for 'Under Milk Wood's 'Sailor's Arms.

 

 




 

 

 

Across the car park from the Sea Horse can be seen the Towyn Chapel. The Minister here in Dylan's time was Orchwy Bowen - both a Poet and a Preacher as was Eli Jenkins in 'Under Milk Wood'.



 


Wendowel

 

 

Trail marker 6


'Wendowel' is on the left along the road past the chapel. It was once the home of Elizabeth Williams and Theodosia Legg, Dylan's Aunt and Cousin. He stayed here with them in the 1930's.

 

 


 

 

Trail marker 7

The 'Costcutter' shop is on the site of the bakery once run by Mr. John - 'Dai Bread'. There is no suggestion that Mr. John had two wives!





 


Manchester House

 

Trail marker 8


Manchester House was once a drapers similar to that run by Mog Edwards in Llareggub. Now it is stoves and decor shop.
 



 


Brongwyn Lane

 

Trail marker 9


Brongwyn Lane once ran round the coast from New Quay to Dylan's home 'Majoda'. However, much of the coast here - including Maesgwyn Farm - mentioned at the beginning of 'Under Milk Wood' has been washed away. 




 


Llanina Mansion

 

Trail marker 10

The Llanina Mansion - Plas Llanina has been restored having almost fallen into ruin since Dylan's time here. It was once owned by Lord Howard de Walden who was a patron of Dylan Thomas. Dylan first came to Plas Llanina with the painter Augustus John in 1938 / 1939. He wrote in the 'Apple House' at the end of the garden - sadly now dilapidated.



 

 


Majoda

 

Trail marker 11


Dylan lived in the bungalow called 'Majoda' from September 1944 to July 1945. This was a fruitful period in his writing career where he wrote many poems and scripts including 'Quite early one morning'. He also started 'under Milk Wood' while living here. The original house has been replaced by a more modern bungalow.



 

 


Ffynnonfeddyg

 

Trail marker 12



'Ffynnonfeddyg' is just a short distance from 'Majoda'. It was once the home of Dylan's friend's Vera and William Killick. After an argument, Killick was involved in a shooting incident at 'Majoda'. At the Lampeter Assizes he was subsequently found not guilty, however Dylan and Caitlin soon moved away from New Quay after this incident. The present Spanish style house is much changed and is now a B&B.