‘Britain’s towns and cities do not usually sit cheek by jowl with its countryside, as we often casually assume. Between urban and rural stands a kind of landscape quite different from either. Often vast in area, though hardly noticed, it is characterised by rubbish tips and warehouses, superstores and derelict industrial plant, office parks and gypsy encampments, golf courses, allotments and fragmented, frequently scruffy, farmland.’
Marion Shoard* writing in The Land, 21 — 2017
Five favourites of mine around here, discovered during the course of a college project:
The Wynnstay Factory Llysonnen Mill,
It squats on the landscape like some Central European nuclear processing plant. Its three silos hug the main body of this concrete lovely. Situated at the end of lane in broad fields.
Cille fwr Industrial Estate
Much to see here, industrial units for the usual suspects: Howdens, Wix, Screwfix. Yards full of containers briming with scrap metal and colourful small units (see below) in the Post-Modern style given over to Prize Fighting Gyms and Schools of Ballet.
|CARMARTHEN POST MODERN|
Saint David’s Park.
Late Victorian Gothic with modern appendages.
Most of the buildings now house NHS ambiguous medical specialists, others remain empty, dilapidated. Grade II listed chapel. Built by the inmates sadly closed now. Inmates because this was a hospital as County Asylum build in 1865, closed in 2000 after reports of bad management.
ST DAVIDS PARK LATE NEO GOTHIC
BT Building Carmarthen
Every town has its impossibly large BT Telephone Exchange. Most of the space in each of these is not used. All the technology these buildings used to house is now on the size of a thumb-sized computer chip. The style here is ‘Brutalism’ with panache at its most exquisite, including Venetian-style balconies wedged into it at the very top.
BT BUILDING - A BRUTALIST MARVEL
Its back yards and building entrances have two mood, two faces:
1. Weekdays it’s busy, busy with curious displays of unwanted office equipment shunted into the car parks or waiting patiently for a nice skip to pass.
2. One weekend I had occasion to visit. The sun was high, no cars, a deserted air, the buildings (built 1949 mostly) were glistening in the heat, I was reminded of Santa Monica CA.
GLANGWILI: OFFICE FURNITURE PATIENTLY WAITING
GLANGWILI - THE LAUNDRY COMPLEX
Beguiling places one and all. Perhaps the last words from Jonathan Meades
“Everything is fantastical if you stare at it long enough, everything is interesting. There is no such thing as a boring place.”
From the Introduction to his book Museum without Walls, writings and scripts.
*Marion Shoard is a British writer and campaigner. She is best known for her work concerning access to the countryside and land use conflicts. In 2002 she became the first person to give a name to the "edgelands" between town and country.