Medieval castles in Wales

Bronllys Castle

Bronllys Castle is a motte and bailey fortress standing south of Bronllys, towards Talgarth in Powys. The original castle, constructed of wood, was founded in or soon after 1100 by Richard Fitz Pons, the owner of the nearby Herefordshire barony of Clifford, who was a supporter of Bernard of Neufmarché. In 1144 Roger Fitzmiles, Earl of Hereford, detached the land surrounding Bronllys from the Lordship of Brecknock, and ...
Founded: c. 1144 | Location: Talgarth, United Kingdom

Weobley Castle

Weobley Castle is a 14th-century fortified manor house on the Gower Peninsula. The existing buildings were largely created between 1304 and 1327 by the de la Bere family. They consist of a gateway, a hall and kitchen, a chapel block and an east range, enclosing a courtyard, all now in a semi-ruinous state. The buildings are largely constructed of rubble masonry with window and door features of sandstone. Until the 15th c ...
Founded: 1304-1327 | Location: Gower Peninsula, United Kingdom

Crickhowell Castle

Crickhowell Castle is a Grade I listed building in Crickhowell, Wales, now largely ruined. The remaining sections of the castle walls and motte stand on a spur where a tributary stream meets the River Usk, in a more elevated position than the rest of the town, which was planned around it. It has been suggested that the castle replaced an earlier motte-and-bailey structure at nearby Maescelyn, where St Mary"s Cha ...
Founded: 1121 | Location: Crickhowell, United Kingdom

Newcastle Castle

Newcastle Castle was initially constructed as a ringwork 1106 by William de Londres, one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, as part of the Norman invasion of Wales. William de Londres was a knight loyal to the Norman baron Robert Fitzhamon and the Newcastle defences marked the most western extent of Fitzhamon"s lordship. The defences were strengthened either by William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester, ...
Founded: 1106 | Location: Bridgend, United Kingdom

Old Beaupre Castle

Although called Old Beaupre Castle the structure is seen as a fortified manor house. The original house was an L-shaped building, now located within the inner courtyard, built circa 1300 and from this period until the 18th century it was owned by the Basset family. During the 16th century intensive remodelling was undertaken, started by Sir Rice Mansel, continued by William Basset and completed by William"s son, Rich ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Cowbridge, United Kingdom

Candleston Castle

The castle, or rather a fortified court in Candleston, was founded in the 14th century on the initiative of the Cantilupe family. It could have been built on the site of an earlier building from the 13th century. At the end of the fifteenth century, it was renovated and rebuilt by Mathew Cradock, a constable of castles in Caerphilly and Kenfig, and around 1500 transformations were made in the range of the great hall. Furt ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bridgend, United Kingdom

Loughor Castle

Loughor Castle is a ruined, medieval fortification built around 1106 by the Anglo-Norman lord Henry de Beaumont, during the Norman invasion of Wales. The site overlooked the River Loughor and controlled a strategic road and ford running across the Gower Peninsula. The castle was designed as an oval ringwork, probably topped by wicker fence defences, and reused the remains of the former Roman fort of Leucarum. Over the ne ...
Founded: c. 1106 | Location: Loughor, United Kingdom

Pennard Castle

Pennard Castle is a ruined castle, near the modern village of Pennard on the Gower Peninsula. The castle was built in the early 12th century as a timber ringwork following the Norman invasion of Wales. The walls were rebuilt in stone by the Braose family at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, including a stone gatehouse. Soon afterwards, however, encroaching sand dunes caused the site to be abandoned and it fell into ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gower Peninsula, United Kingdom

Llawhaden Castle

A motte-and-bailey castle is thought to have previously occupied the site  of Llawhaden Castle and the present structure was built by the bishops of the Diocese of St David in the 13th century. The castle was abandoned in the 16th century and some of the stone was removed for local building projects. The site is privately owned by the Lord of the Manor of Llawhaden and managed by Cadw. The remaining ruins date from the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Llawhaden, United Kingdom

St Quintins Castle

St Quintins Castle site was first occupied with a defensive structure in about 1102 and the gatehouse and further building work took place around 1312. It was later used as a prison and was reported as being in a ruinous state by 1741. Around 1102 Robert Fitzhamon, the first Norman Lord of Glamorgan bequeathed the lands of Llanblethian as a lordship to Herbert de St Quentin who is thought to have built the first fortific ...
Founded: 1102 | Location: Cowbridge, United Kingdom

Fonmon Castle

Fonmon Castle is a fortified medieval castle near the village of Fonmon in the Vale of Glamorgan. With its origins rooted in the 12th century it is today seen as a great architectural rarity, as it is one of few buildings that was drastically remodeled in the 18th century, but not Gothicized. The castle is believed to have remained under the ownership of just two families throughout its history; from Norman times, it was ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Barry, United Kingdom

Neath Castle

The first castle in Neath was located west of the river near the Roman fort of Nidum, and was a timber fortification in a motte and bailey structure. When Richard de Grenville founded Neath Abbey close by, he abandoned this original castle, and it may have been used by the monks as a source of building material. A second castle on the opposite bank of the river, in what is now the centre of the town, is first documented ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Neath, United Kingdom

Narberth Castle

Narberth Castle is a ruined Norman fortress in the town of Narberth. The current ruins are undoubtedly Norman and seem to date from the 13th century, having been built by Andrew Perrot. However the castle is mentioned in the third branch of the Mabinogi as the place where Rhiannon was imprisoned and forced to carry travellers through the gates as penance for killing her son. Although there is some controversy over the act ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Narberth, United Kingdom

Barry Castle

Barry Castle was a fortified manor house built on the site of an earlier Norman structure. It was raised by the powerful de Barry family, who played an important role in both the conquest of South Wales and Ireland. The structure was ruinous by the sixteenth century. By the late 13th century the castle had two stone buildings on the east and west sides of a courtyard, but nothing now remains of these above ground. Early ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Barry, United Kingdom

Dolforwyn Castle

Dolforwyn Castle was established by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Gwynedd in the late 13th century. It is sited on a wooded ridge commanding excellent views of the upper Severn Valley. Dolforwyn Castle is a fine example of Welsh castle design as opposed to those built by the English during their conquests of Wales. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Gwynedd"s main land holdings lay in the Gwynedd. In order ...
Founded: 1273-1277 | Location: Llandyssil, United Kingdom

Wiston Castle

Wiston Castle is a motte and bailey castle in the Pembrokeshire village of Wiston. The castle and village were founded by Wizo, a Flemish settler who was granted the land by Henry I of England after he had wrested control from the previous owner, Arnulf de Montgomery (who was in revolt against Henry). The castle was captured by the Welsh on several occasions but on each occasion it was retaken. It was abandoned during the ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Wiston, United Kingdom

Roch Castle

Roch Castle was built by Norman knight Adam de Rupe in the second half of the 12th century, probably on the site of an earlier wooden structure. After the deRupe family died out in the 15th century, the Castle was taken over eventually in the 17th century by the Walter family. Their daughter Lucy was born in the castle, and later became a courtesan of Charles II, and bore him an acknowledged son James, 1st Duke of Mon ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Haverfordwest, United Kingdom

Castell Dinas

Castell Dinas is a hillfort and castle in southern Powys. At 450 m it has the highest castle in England and Wales. It is positioned to defend the Rhiangoll pass between Talgarth and Crickhowell. This site was originally an Iron Age, 600 BC to 50 AD, hillfort. A fortified Norman castle with stone walls was built on the site possibly by William Fitz Osbern or his son Roger de Breteuil, Earl of Hereford in the per ...
Founded: 1070-1075 | Location: Talgarth, United Kingdom

Pencoed Castle

The moat and round tower of Pencoed Castle may date from 1270 by Sir Richard de la More. It passed to the Morgans of Tredegar in the 15th century and a big new mansion on the east side and the gatehouse on the west side were built by Sir Thomas Morgan in c. 1490-1500. The gatehouse and corner tower are ruined and the mansion lies in a gutted and derelict state, though still with some flooring and the roof more or less int ...
Founded: 1490-1500 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Dale Castle

Dale Castle is a 13th-century castle located close to the village of Dale in Wales. In 1910, part of the castle was removed and other parts were incorporated into a new private dwelling house, built in the style of a fortified manor house. Built after the Norman invasion of South Wales, the castle was originally built by the de Vales, descendants of a knight who had accompanied Robert fitz Martin on his invasion of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dale, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.