Tiny Castle, Big Impact – St. Quentins Castle

St. Quentins has many names. You say St. Quentins and I say St Quintin’s. It’s also known as Llanblethian, and Castell Llanfleiddan. It sits in what appears to be a quiet, out of the way village in Llanblethian, Cowbridge, Wales.

It’s thought to have started out as a ringwork with a bank and ditch in around 1102 with the stonework being added in the late 12th century and then reinforced in the early 14th by the Earl Gilbert de Clare. However, Gilbert was killed before the castle was completed, and because the castle lacks certain features, it is possible that the building work was discontinued as a result of the Earl’s death. By 1740 it was was said to be in a ruinous state.

The gatehouses did see some use as a prison in the 15th century and was briefly occupied as a dwelling in 1820.

Haverfordwest Priory

A Priory of Augustinian Canons Regular on the banks of the Western Cleddau at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, thought to date to the late 12th or early 13th centuries. Between 1983 to 1996 the site was excavated revealing the outlines of buildings and unearthing a unique medieval garden with raised beds.

A River, a major road and a railway line now flank the Priory. It was probably a major route at the time being so close to the river and the valley bottom.

Better Death Than Dishonour At Old Beaupre Castle!

Old Beaupre Castle is actually a ruined medieval fortified manor house rather than a castle, built circa 1300 and located in the community of Llanfair, outside Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.

It was owned by the Basset family who carried out intensive remodelling in the 13th century, adding other buildings to what was originally an L-shaped building to create a courtyard, with an impressive outer gatehouse, a three-storeyed Renaissance porch and buildings around the middle court. After the English Civil War, the Basset family fortunes went into decline it is thought because they supported King Charles I. Spoiler alert! He lost!

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Castle passed by inheritance to the Jones family who chose, in 1709, to sell it and live to the more modern New Beaupre. Oh, and in case you were wondering, ‘Better Death Than Dishonour’ is the motto of the Bassett family and can be found on a heraldic panel above the front door.

Is There A Better Location For An Eldritch Ruin? Llanthony Priory

On a misty Sunday morning, we visit LLanthony Priory, a partly ruined former Augustinian priory in the secluded Vale of Ewyas, in the Black Mountain region of Brecon Beacons in Monmouthshire, South East Wales.

In around 1100, Norman nobleman Walter de Lacy reputedly came upon a ruined chapel of St. David in this location and was inspired to devote himself to solitary prayer and study.

He was soon joined by Ersinius, a former Chaplain to Queen Matilda, the wife of King Henry I, and then a band of followers. By 1118, a group of around 40 monks from England had founded the first priory of Canons Regular in Wales. The Welsh were none too pleased with the arrival of these Norman and English interlopers and regularly attacked the Priory until in 1135 the monks retreated to Gloucester where they founded a secondary cell, Llanthony Secunda. In around 1186, Hugh de Lacy- the fifth Baron, rebuilt the priory church, which was completed by 1217.

The Ruin In A City – Swansea Castle

This castle was founded by Henry de Beaumont in 1107. Henry was a Norman Lord and the 1st Earl of Warwick. He acquired the Lordship of Gower in Wales around 1107 from the favour of King Henry I and subsequently built Swansea Castle. A few years later Henry returned to Normandy and entered the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Préaux and became a monk. He died there on 20 June 1119. The castle Henry left behind was of timber construction but was rebuilt in stone, probably between 1221 and 1284 after it was unsuccessfully besieged in 1192 by Rhys ap Gruffydd. After a series of failed attacks, the castle fell in 1217 and was subsequently restored to the English in 1220.

Part of the interior of the castle, in particular the large motte, was demolished between 1909 and 1913 to make way for the construction of the newspaper office’s of the South Wales Daily Post which once employed the poet Dylan Thomas.

The Fish Farming Premonstratensians Of Talley Abbey

This ruin was once the monastery of the Premonstratensians or “White Canons”. It can be found in the village of Talley, in the River Cothi valley, in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The monastery was founded by Rhys ap Gruffydd in or about 1185 for the Premonstratensians who came to England from Prémontré near Laon in northern France in about 1143. It was dissolved by Henry VIII during the dissolution. The two lakes near the abbey ruins were used for fish farming to support the community of monks and are where the village gets its name, Tàl-y-llychau which means “the head of the lakes”.

Birthplace of King Henry V – Monmouth Castle

In the Welsh town of Monmouth, in the county of Monmouthshire, hiding down a narrow street on a hill above the River Monnow are the remains of the scheduled monument that is Monmouth Castle. It was established by William FitzOsbern between 1066 and 1069 as a counterpart to his other major castle at Chepstow. Once an important border castle, and the birthplace of Henry V of England on the 16 September 1386. It stood proudly until it was damaged during the English Civil War. Eventually, it was slighted, putting it beyond military use.