A Romantic Norman Ruin – Grosmont Castle

Third Largest Settlement You’ve Never Heard Of (In South Wales). In 1405 Grosmont was the scene of a major battle in the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr. Rhys Gethin, Glyndwr’s ally, raised a force of around 8,000 men who descended on Grosmont burning the town to the ground. At the time Grosmont was the this largest settlement in South Wales but the battle saw the burning of maybe 100 homes. Grosmont never recovered. In retaliation, a force dispatched by Prince Henry who would become Henry V, and led by John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, Sir William Newport and Sir John Greynder from Hereford, intercepted the Welsh and defeated them, killing between 800 and 1000 men. Grosmont Castle, like its sisters White Castle and Skenfrith Castle, is a Norman castle built shortly after 1066 to protect the route from Wales to Hereford.

Brilliant Place To Be A Kid! Skenfrith Castle

Skenfrith Castle

The ruin of Skenfrith Castle, or Castell Ynysgynwraidd in Welsh, sits alongside the River Monnow in Monmouthshire in Wales on the border of Herefordshire in England. It began its existence as a wooden structure with earthworks after the Normans invaded England in 1066. It was intended to protect the route between Wales and Hereford.

At the end of the 12th century, the castle was rebuilt in stone. Skenfrith Castle, like its sisters White Castle and Grosmont Castle, is a Norman castle built shortly after 1066 to protect the route from Wales to Hereford.

We really enjoyed making this film of a splendid castle in a really lovely village. Everyone should grow up with a castle as a playground.

Super Special Weobley Castle (It’s Not Quite A Castle)

A 14th-century fortified manor house on the Gower Peninsula, Wales built between 1304 and 1327 by the de la Bere family.

As with so many castles in this part of the world, Owain Glyndŵr had a bash at destroying it in the early 15th century and although he and his forces did some damage, most of it was left standing. It’s thought by some that John de la Bere who died in 1403 was a casualty of Glyndŵr’s incursion.

It’s a castle that isn’t really a castle which has some smashing views and a bizarre assortment of window styles.  Clearly the De La Bere family couldn’t make up their minds about what sort of windows they preferred so had a variety.  It must have been the medieval version of letting your teenage daughter paint their bedroom black because they are going through a goth phase. 

Kidwelly Castle – Norman Stronghold, Filmset and Scenic Ruin

Like so many Castles in Wales, Kidwelly was built by the Normans to defend against the Welsh. You would have thought that the Normans would have realised that this was a futile gesture because the Welsh were not prepared to learn to speak French. I’m sure there were other reasons they were disgruntled about the invasion but this seems like a fairly good one to me.

The remains of the castle we see today were constructed between 1111 until about 1476. It saw quite. bit of action in the twelfth century, falling to the Welsh on a number of occasions. In 1403 Owain Glyndŵr unsuccessfully besieged the castle with the aid of troops from France and Brittany. After just three weeks the Norman Army turned up and put a stop to these shenanigans. The gatehouse was damaged and was later rebuilt on the instructions of King Henry V.

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.

Dryslwyn Castle – A Proper Welsh Castle

Dryslwyn Castle is a 13th-century castle, thought to be built by one of the Welsh princes of Deheubarth. It sits upon a hill overlooking the Twi Valley and commands some stunning views, even on a cold and rainy day such as this one.

It is one of the most important structures built by a Welsh chieftain still remaining. It is an excellent defensive position and is thought perhaps to have been a fortification in prehistoric times, although no evidence of this remains.