St.Mary's Street, Whitland
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The Oak Garden
Here we have the laws pertaining to the King and Court and as befits the King's status, it is raised above the level of the others. The steps in the corner enable you to look over the whole garden complex. Through the use of wild flowers the artist reminds us that the Laws of Hywel extended to all people. We are also reminded that decisions taken by local communities were often done in the shade of a sacred oak tree.
The furthest plaque mentions the "Sarhaed" (insult fee) to be paid to the King: i.e. a hundred cattle for every ‘cantref' in his kingdom, a silver rod which reached from the ground to his mouth when he was sitting down and was as thick as his middle finger, and a gold cup which would hold the full measure of his drink and with a cover as broad as the king's face and as thick as the thumb nail of a ploughman who had been a ploughman for seven years or the shell of a goose's egg.
The King often travelled around his kingdom when he would enjoy the hospitality of the wealthier breyr or freemen, especially the uchelwyr, who were expected to be generous hosts, being responsible for sufficient grain for the horses and ample food and drink for the guests.
"The king is entitled to have in his company thirty-six persons on horseback; the twenty-four officers and the twelve guests; in addition to his bodyguard and his goodmen and his servants and his musicians and his needy clients; and that is called the king's retinue."