Dylan was inspired by leafy Cwmdonkin Park, which he described as a ‘world within the world of the sea town … full of terrors and treasures’. The park features in the 1939 short story, ‘Patricia, Edith and Arnold’ and in the July 1941 poem ‘The Hunchback in The Park’, inspired by a character he saw in his youth.
The hunchback in the park
A solitary mister
Propped between trees and water
From the opening of the garden lock
Until the Sunday sombre bell at dark
Eating bread from a newspaper
Drinking water from the chained cup
That the children filled with gravel
In the fountain basin where I sailed my ship
Slept at night in a dog kennel
But nobody chained him up.
5 Cwmdonkin drive
After his parents moved out in 1937 the house was neglected and slowly began to fall into disrepair until acquired in the 1990s by Geoff and Annie Haden who set about painstakingly restoring the house to replicate how it would have looked in 1914 when the Thomas family lived here.
To questions of why he restored the rapidly decaying house, Geoff Haden provides the spirited response "…because I'm mad - mad about Dylan's writings and mad that I didn't have the chance to restore the house sooner!"
Read more, including details of visiting times and events, at Dylan Thomas Birthplace.
dylan thomas in swansea
The Dylan Thomas Centre at Somerset Place, Swansea, houses a permanent exhibition and frequent events including the annual Dylan Thomas Festival in November.
There is also now a self-guided Dylan Thomas walking tour of Swansea available as an app. See details here
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