Narberth Castle

Narberth, United Kingdom

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 actual location of the castle in the Mabinogi (there are at least two other earthworks nearby that are contenders, but neither are in good defensive positions compared to the site of this one), the Normans often built castles on top of earlier defensive structures and it is plausible that the original was obliterated.

The castle never changed hands throughout the Glyndŵr Rising in 1400–1415 and was slighted after being taken by Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War. Excavations have found more than 20 graves on the north side dating from the 12th century to the 13th, hinting that the area may have once been the site of a church.

In the early part of the 20th century, the annual town fair held a procession which ended in the castle, with dancing and music. In 2005, the castle was opened again to the public after being taken over by the council and made safe.

The castle has provided a good deal of building material for the surrounding houses and the remains are mostly single and double storey walls, with the barrel-vaulted kitchen cellars intact. No upper storey rooms are intact. There is an early engraving visible on an information board at Narberth railway station (and possible elsewhere in the town) which shows now-vanished tall chimneys of a Flemish style that can still be seen at the well-preserved Manorbier Castle.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Duncan Harvey (4 years ago)
Very interesting remains of a remarkably large castle tucked away at the far end of town. Grounds are reasonably well maintained in terms of grass and brambles, but there was quite a lot of litter.
Angie Wall (4 years ago)
Bit pricey for small portions but in fairness, food was very tasty
Terry McClatchey (4 years ago)
Beautiful lake with views of the high Beacons.
Andrew Kemp (4 years ago)
Narberth Castle ruins are could do with a little tiding up apart from that is good to learn the history of it
Islay Rhys Davies (4 years ago)
Lovely place for a short dog walk. Some of the castle walls are still standing and are very beautiful in the right weather.
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