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 thirteenth century when the then owner moved to nearby Picton Castle.

Wiston Castle is considered one of the best preserved motte-and-bailey castles in Wales. It is built on the summit of a hill to the north of Wiston with the motte about 9 m above the base of the ditch. Surrounding the flat top there is a shell-keep that would have been the main fortification inside which all the buildings, mostly made of timber, would have been placed. The external face of the shell-keep is polygonal, with eighteen short sections, but some of these have subsided into the ditch on the north side. The inside of the shell-keep is circular. There is an arched entrance on the south side and on either side of this there are draw-bar holes which would have been used to secure the main gate. Inside is a large, oval bailey protected by a well-preserved bank. The lord's main residence would have been inside the bailey.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dan Booth (40 days ago)
Impressive and remarkable considering it is nearly 1000 years old! A free site in the middle of a cow field, so don't expect a shop, toilets etc but do expect a cow or two and maybe a cow pat in the castle. Lots of steps to go up so not one for the less fit.
Mr CP (41 days ago)
Very relaxing idea for the kids and a picnic out. It will kill a few hours. And a great walk. If you like walking.
David Hopkinson (59 days ago)
It's certainly out of the way and it doesn't take long to visit. But it's really fascinating to see the earth works and get a sense of what a motte and bailey castle was really like. Definitely worth the side trip.
Anya Chapman (2 months ago)
Free entry. Quiet site, but very picturesque. No toilets/shop/benches. Take a packed lunch and enjoy the peace & quiet.
Steve Robinson (10 months ago)
A really good example of a motte and bailey castle,and a spooky feeling when you're up there alone.
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