Not our usual fare because you can in no way look at this and say it is a castle but it is none the less very interesting from a historical viewpoint and can be described as robustly built. If you have an interest in Industrial history, specifically the innovation that allowed the production of cheaper, better quality steel. The “basic steel process” or the “Gilchrist-Thomas process”, named for the industrial chemist Sidney Gilchrist Thomas and his cousin Percy Gilchrist who was a chemist at the Blaenavon Ironworks came about when Sidney discovered a solution to the problem of phosphorus in iron, which resulted in the production of low-grade steel. By using dolomite or sometimes limestone as a lining for the Bessemer converter rather than the usual clay they were able to remove the phosphorus and produce a better quality of steel at a fraction of the price. It also produced a byproduct of phosphate fertilizer.
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.
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.
If you happen to be bimbling along the lovely leafy lanes of Monmouthshire in Wales, you might just happen across Caerwent Roman Town, also known as Venta Silurum.
It was established by the Romans in around AD 75 as an administrative centre for the defeated Silures tribe in Roman Wales.
Venta Silurum seems to mean “Market town of the Silures” As you can see there are plenty of ruins to explore, including the town walls and the foundations of a number of buildings.
The site even boasts a Norman Motte. It has a bit of everything we love!
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.