Court of Admiralty

The Mayor also has the title of Admiral of the Port of Carmarthen, granted by a Charter of Henry VIII in 1546. Henry granted a 'Charter of Admiral to the Mayor and Burgesses and Commonalty to the town of Carmarthen and to their successors for ever upon the River Towy from the bridge of Carmarthen to the bar of the said river'.

This Charter recalls the years when the Towy was a thriving artery connecting Carmarthen and its hinterland with the Bristol Channel and beyond. Cargo ships tied up at the Quay, which was lined with warehouses. The coming of the railway led to a decline in river traffic and in the boat-building which was also carried on near the Quay and Island Wharf.

It was customary in the days when Carmarthen was an important port for the Mayor and Corporation to voyage down to the bar of the Towy on 'Admiral's Court Day', when it was the Mayor's duty to hold a Court of Admiralty for the purpose of inquiring into the
state of the river and preventing nuisances.

This custom continues, thanks to the River Towy Yacht Club, whose Members transport the Mayor and his guests on their inspection of the River Towy, followed by a special reception for the Mayor at the Club's Ferryside Clubhouse.

Court of Admiralty