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.

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.

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.

If Oxwich Castle Isn’t A Castle, What Is It?

Oxwich Castle or Castell Oxwich in the Welsh Tounge is, in fact, a Fortified Tudor manor house. It overlooks Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula, and while the current building, built in the sixteenth century is not a castle, its predecessor, built in the thirteenth and fourteenth century, really was. The building we see today, built by Sir Rice Mansel and his more extravagant son Sir Edward Manse was constructed to attract the Royal Court as it made its Progress around its realm. Sadly Oxwich Castle was a little too far off the beaten track for this to be successful.

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.

Is Wiston Castle The Best Example of a Motte and Bailey in Wales?

So there was this Flemish geezer called Wizo who, with a name like that sounds like he should be a wizard. Sadly he wasn’t. Despite his lack of magical abilities, he was granted a piece of land by Henry the first who had taken control of it from the previous owner who was in revolt against Henry. Wizo built a motte and bailey castle, ‘cos why wouldn’t you? It is considered one of the best examples of its type in Wales. It is situated in the Pembrokeshire village of Wiston in south west Wales which is named after Wizo – Wiston being an Old Flemish/Saxon for Wizo’s enclosure/town.

Take A Look At Loughor Castle (Pronounced Lucker)

Loughor Castle is a ruined, medieval fortification located in the town of Loughor, Wales. It was built around 1106 by the Anglo-Norman lord Henry de Beaumont, during the Norman invasion of Wales. Although it looks like a motte and bailey it actually started out as a ringwork which was then filled in and the stone keep was built on top with building material nicked from the nearby Roman fort of Leucarum. The original structure was made of wicker.

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.