The Sprawling Oystermouth Castle

A wonderful maze of a place, Oystermouth Castle began its life in the 12th century. It was built by William de Londres, who also owned Ogmore Castle. The castle was destroyed twice by the Welsh, and the De Londres line ended in 1215 when the Welsh retook the Gower. The Barony of the Gower was then given to John de Braose by Henry II in the 13th century and with it Oystermouth castle. The de Braose’s not only rebuilt Oystermouth in stone but increased its size, extravagance, and defensive capabilities. It was one of the last DeBraos’s, Aline de Braose, who revamped the chapel and put it on the map as one of the finest examples of a castle chapel in South Wales. It was her marriage to John de Mowbray that passed the castle and the Lordship of Gower to the de Mowbrays. She is said to haunt the castle to this day. It fell into decline in the middle ages, but was restored once more in the 19th century, and again in the early 21st. Upon completion of these restorations, Oystermouth was opened to the public.

Tretower Court and Castle

A Castle Tower AND an Intact Medieval Manor House!

The castle, a motte and bailey was founded by Picard, a follower of Bernard de Neufmarché in the 12th century. Picard’s son, Roger Picard I, replaced the motte with a shell keep. By about 1230 a tall cylindrical keep was added to the inside of the shell keep, possibly by his great-grandson, Roger Picard II. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Picards tired of loving in a cramped castle, and so the north range of Tretower Court was built. They sit in the village of Tretower, near Crickhowell in modern-day Powys, previously within the historical county of Breconshire or Brecknockshire.

The Beautiful, but Windy, Ogmore Castle

Ogmore Castle, or to give it it’s Welsh name- Castell Ogwr, is a 12th-century ruin near Bridgend in Glamorgan, South Wales. It sits on the banks of the River Ewenny but takes its name from the nearby River Ogmore.

It’s a blowy but very sunny day and the castle looks stunning.  There are pony trekkers crossing the river at the all-important ford heading for a ride on the beach at Ogmore By Sea.  Despite the cold, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this castle.

Construction of the castle is thought to have begun in 1106 prior to the Norman conquest. It was in use until the 19th century, latterly as a court of justice and a prison.

Exploring The Beautiful Bronllys Castle

This Motte and Baily castle in Powys, Wales was founded c. 1110 by Richard Fitz Pons a marcher lord on the border with Wales. The original castle was built of wood but was replaced with a stone structure by Walter de Clifford sometime between 1144 and 1165 when it is reported that the tower caught fire.

Even though there are no ceilings or floors left, you can go right to the top of its tower, where there are some lovely views.

The Best Castle Location? – Llansteffan Castle

On a hill above the estuary of the River Towy in Carmarthenshire sits the magnificent Llansteffan Castle. It was built on the site of an older Iron Age Promontory Fort and has been in use for millennia, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s not only a highly defensible location, but affords some stunning views over the River Towy, and the village of Llansteffan itself. If you go to the top of the tower at the right time, you might even get to see a train in the distance.

Today, it’s all about location, and Llansteffan has got one of the best views of the sea we’ve seen from a castle. It isn’t actually the sea, it’s the estuary of the River Towy with the sea in the distance. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful.

The Biggest Castle in Wales – Caerphilly Castle

A medieval fortification built by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century in the town of Caerphilly in South Wales. Loads of moats and lakes, it is said to have the most elaborate water defences in Britain. Occupying around 30 acres (12 hectares) it is the second-largest castle in the United Kingdom. One of its defining features is its leaning tower. The south-east tower in the Inner Ward leans outwards at an angle of 10 degrees.