Widow's tale of a secret passage
1:00pm Sunday 11th November 2012 in News
TALES of a secret passage concealed within the overgrown remains of Ammanford Castle could be more than just a fable, according to a Towy Valley pensioner.
According to local legend, Ammanford’s largely forgotten motte and bailey - off Tirydail Lane - was linked to Carreg Cennen Castle by an underground tunnel.
Now Dryslwyn widow Kathleen Stott has reported an extraordinary tale related by her late husband, Kenneth, who grewup in Harold Street, not far from the castle, in the 1930s.
“Kenneth and his friends would often play in the grounds of what, I believe, was then called Tirydail House,” Mrs Stott told the Guardian.
“Boys being boys they spent a lot of time playing on the old castle. One day they discovered a hole in the ground which they at first took to be a well.
“Being inquisitive, they decided to investigate and after going down some way they came across a flight of steps continuing downward – that’s when they knewit wasn’t a well!
“From what I can remember, they only managed to venture down a few of the steps before they became frightened and turned back.”
Mrs Stott contacted the Guardianhaving read recent stories about plans to investigate the castle’s mound.
“I’d love to know if anyone else can support my late husband’s story,” she said.
“Would there perhaps be anything in the records of Tirydail House?”
Kenneth Stott joined the Welsh Guards at 17 and fought in the Second World War. He and his wife later ran the Mansel Arms, near Porthyrhyd. He died in 1993.
Town councillor Jonathan Davies, who is trying to revive interest in the castle, said he was intrigued by the tale.
“If there is an underground passage extending all the way to Carreg Cennen, what an amazing example of Welsh ingenuity in the 12th century,” he commented.
“It would certainly be one heck of an engineering feat.
But who knows? I suppose anything’s possible.”
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