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Dylan Thomas & His Time In New Quay 

Dylan Thomas, author of ‘Under Milk Wood’, he lived in New Quay for a very brief time during September 1944 to July 1945. Characters and locations in the famous ‘play for voices’ were inspired by stories, people and places in and around New Quay  and Laraghan 


Dylan Thomas had roots in  West Wales , and escaped here from London.

As a child, he came to stay for holidays with relatives at Hendre farm near Cardigan, he later stayed with childhood friend Vera Phillips and her family, who rented a house at Talsarn.

The peace it gave him to write at the apple house at Llanina mansion, while the artist Augustus John lived in another ruined building on the other side of the mansion’s walled garden. 

Most notably, he lived and found inspiration within New Quay, the ‘cliff perched, toppling town’ maritime village perched on the side of a wooded hill. He would spend time in the company of local characters -many of them retired mariners , in village pubs from New Quay to Lampeter and along the Aeron Valley, listening to their tales and making notes to inspire his works.

Dylan was particularly productive during his short time in and around  New Quay – about 15 of the poems in the collection ‘Deaths and Entrances’ were written whilst he was in Ceredigion. Poems he composed at New Quay include ‘The Conversation of Prayers’ and the poem he wrote to his son, Llewelyn ‘This Side of the Truth’.

New Quay was undoubtedly a welcome refuge from war torn London and Swansea, but not a complete escape, as this is also where he wrote ‘A Refusal to Mourn the Death of a Child.’ The film ‘The Edge of Love’, filmed on location in New Quay and Lampeter, depicts an episode of Dylan’s life when he lived at ‘Majoda’ a bungalow overlooking the bay.

Under Milk Wood The poem ‘Quite Early One Morning’ describes a walk along the coastal cliffs as the village awakes. It is considered to be the template for his most famous work, ‘Under Milk Wood’. Many of the characters and places described in the play’s fictional village of Llareggub bear close resemblance to New Quay people and locations – just take a boat trip out to the bay and look back at the tumbling terraced streets, imagine Captain Cat dreaming about drowned sailors and mermaids, and recall the Reverend Eli Jenkins’ prayer.

Links To Dylan Time In New Quay And The Surrounding Areas 

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