Dylan Thomas in New Quay

From 1 September 1944 until July 1945 Dylan Thomas and Caitlin rented Majoda, a bungalow made of wood and asbestos with basic amenities overlooking Cardigan Bay, New Quay. It was close to the Black Lion Hotel, run by Jack Patrick, which became a favourite haunt of Dylan’s, and to Vera and William Killick’s Ffnonnfeddyg bungalow.

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea. 

[The last stanza of 'Fern Hill']

Dylan Thomas and under milk wood

The Thomases' bohemian lifestyle upset William Killick, a Captain in the Royal Engineers, home on leave, sufficiently for him to shoot at the occupants of Majoda one drunken night.

Whist living in New Quay Dylan wrote the radio scripts ‘Quite early one morning’ and ‘Memories of Christmas’ and some of his best poems, including ‘Fern Hill’, ‘Poem in October’, ‘Vision and Prayer’, ‘Holy Spring’ and ‘A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, Of A Child in London’. These poems went into Deaths and Entrances (1946).

The Thomases also drank at the Dolau Inn, Chapel Street, which was Caitlin’s favourite local. Alistair Graham, Evelyn Waugh’s former lover and nephew of the Duchess of Montrose, the inspiration for Sebastian Flyte in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and a probable inspiration for Dylan’s Lord Cut-Glass, was a regular.

It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine tonight in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows' weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.

The first lines ofUnder Milk Wood

In 'Dylan Thomas, A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow', David Thomas a strong case that New Quay provides the inspiration of Thomas's Llareggub (read it backwards), the fictional location of Under Milk Wood. You can now walk the trail, through the town, to the locations identified as models for locales in the fictional  Llareggub, 

A leaflet 'Dylan Thomas - New Quay' is available from the New Quay and Aberaeron Tourist Offices.

To Dylan Thomas in Oxford

Return to Dylan Thomas homepage

We are currently redeveloping the site. Please excuse jumps in page design and style whilst work is in progress. Thanks so much for visiting!