L © The Bonau Cabbage Patch PWLL IN THE PAST Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin or informally Sir Gâr) is a unitary authority in  southwest Wales, and one of the historic counties of Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli,  Carmarthen and Ammanford. Carmarthen is the county town and administrative centre.   Carmarthenshire has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The county town was founded by  the Romans, and the region was part of the Principality of Deheubarth in the High Middle Ages.  After invasion by the Normans in the 12th and 13th centuries it was subjugated, along with other  parts of Wales, by Edward I of England. There was further unrest in the early 15th century, when  the Welsh rebelled under Owain Glyndŵr, and during the English Civil War.   Carmarthenshire is mainly an agricultural county, apart from the southeastern part which was  once heavily industrialised with coal mining, steel-making and tin-plating. In the north of the  county, the woollen industry was very important in the 18th century. The economy depends on  agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. West Wales was identified in 2014 as the worst-  performing region in the United Kingdom along with the South Wales Valleys with the decline in  its industrial base, and the low profitability of the livestock sector.   Carmarthenshire, as a tourist destination, offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Much of the  coast is fairly flat; it includes the Millennium Coastal Park, which extends for ten miles to the west  of Llanelli; the National Wetlands Centre; a championship golf course; and the harbours of Burry  Port and Pembrey. The sandy beaches at Llansteffan and Pendine are further west.  Carmarthenshire has a number of medieval castles, hillforts and standing stones. The Dylan  Thomas Boathouse is at Laugharne.   History Stone tools found in Coygan Cave, near Laugharne indicate the presence of hominins, probably  neanderthals, at least 40,000 years ago, though, as in the rest of the British Isles, continuous  habitation by modern humans is not known before the end of the Younger Dryas, around 11,500  years BP. Before the Romans arrived in Britain, the land now forming the county of  Carmarthenshire was part of the kingdom of the Demetae who gave their name to the county of  Dyfed; it contained one of their chief settlements, Moridunum, now known as Carmarthen. The  Romans established two forts in South Wales, one at Caerwent to control the southeast of the  country, and one at Carmarthen to control the southwest. The fort at Carmarthen dates from  around 75 AD, and there is a Roman amphitheatre nearby, so this probably makes Carmarthen  the oldest continually occupied town in Wales.   Carmarthenshire has its early roots in the region formerly known as Ystrad Tywi ("Vale of the  Tywi") and part of the Kingdom of Deheubarth during the High Middle Ages, with the court at  Dinefwr. After the Normans had subjugated England they tried to subdue Wales.  Carmarthenshire was disputed between the Normans and the Welsh lords and many of the  castles built around this time, first of wood and then stone, changed hands several times.  Following the Conquest of Wales by Edward I, the region was reorganized by the Statute of  Rhuddlan in 1284 into Carmarthenshire. Edward I made Carmarthen the capital of this new  county, establishing his courts of chancery and his exchequer there, and holding the Court of  Great Sessions in Wales in the town.   The Normans transformed Carmarthen into an international trading port, the only staple port in  Wales. Merchants imported food and French wines and exported wool, pelts, leather, lead and  tin. In the late medieval period the county's fortunes varied, as good and bad harvests occurred,  increased taxes were levied by England, there were episodes of plague, and recruitment for wars  removed the young men. Carmarthen was particularly susceptible to plague as it was brought in  by flea-infested rats on board ships from southern France.   In 1405, Owain Glyndŵr captured Carmarthen Castle and several other strongholds in the  neighbourhood. However, when his support dwindled, the principal men of the county returned  their allegiance to King Henry V. During the English Civil War, Parliamentary forces under  Colonel Roland Laugharne besieged and captured Carmarthen Castle but later abandoned the  cause, and joined the Royalists. In 1648, Carmarthen Castle was recaptured by the  Parliamentarians, and Oliver Cromwell ordered it to be slighted.  The first industrial canal in Wales was built in 1768 to convey coal from the Gwendraeth Valley to  the coast, and the following year, the earliest tramroad bridge was on the tramroad built  alongside the canal. During the Napoleonic Wars (1799–1815) there was increased demand for  coal, iron and agricultural goods, and the county prospered. The landscape changed as much  woodland was cleared to make way for more food production, and mills, power stations, mines  and factories sprang up between Llanelli and Pembrey. Carmarthenshire was at the centre of the  Rebecca Riots around 1840, when local farmers and agricultural workers dressed as women and  rebelled against higher taxes and tolls.   On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Carmarthenshire joined Cardiganshire  and Pembrokeshire in the new county of Dyfed; Carmarthenshire was divided into three districts:  Carmarthen, Llanelli and Dinefwr. Twenty-two years later this amalgamation was reversed when,  under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, the original county boundaries were reinstated.  CARMARTHENSHIRE Source: Wikipedia