Llansteffan Castle

Llansteffan, United Kingdom

Llansteffan Castle sits on a much older Iron Age promontory fort, proving Llansteffan has been inhabited for several millennia. The hill where the castle stands commands the River Tywi estuary. The hill would have been stripped of trees so that foot soldiers were vulnerable to attack by archers. The original earthworks can still be seen and were used as part of the modern castle's defence system - the castle proper rests within the earthwork rings.

The castle was built by the Normans after 1100 as part of their invasion of Wales and granted to the Marmion family before passing to the de Camvilles through marriage.

It was captured by Maredudd ap Gruffydd in 1146 against the forces of Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan and his brother William FitzGerald, Lord of Emlyn who were the leading Norman settlers of the region. The castle was retaken by the Normans in 1158. Llywelyn the Great recaptured the castle for the Welsh in 1215 and taken back by the de Camville family sometime after 1223. The castle fell to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1257 but returned to the de Camvilles by the 1260s.

The castle was captured twice by the forces of Owain Glyndŵr in 1403 and c.1405. It was recaptured by Sir John Pennes in 1408. The castle was later granted to the Crown and the two-tower Gatehouse was converted into a residence.



Your name


Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information



4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jake Yorath (10 months ago)
What a beautiful spot. Firstly, the views of the castle, both full and partial, from the beach and car park are tremendous. Ascending the steep climb on foot, you're greeted by a wonderful, tranquil spot to take in the bay and the outstanding scenery. The norman tower (the square tower) is incredible, considering its age and lack of rebuilding. As a place to take a quiet half hour surrounded by history, I can't imagine better!
Andrew Hignett (10 months ago)
Lovely walks, interesting castle, clean beach (for a river estuary). No dogs allowed on the main part of the beach during summer months but plenty of other places to walk with them. Refreshments available from a kiosk, also sells chips etc. Free parking and castle.
Owen Robbins (10 months ago)
Be aware you can’t drive to it! Park at the beach and walk up. If you drive up you’ll be met with very narrow roads, no passing points, lots of pedestrians you’ll annoy as they have to stand in bushes, no real turn point and 100% no car park at the end of the road by the castle… just park at the beach and walk up ?
R S (11 months ago)
Short walk up hill & worth it when at the Ruins. Great views of the surroundings and lots to see. You can walk up the medieval spiral staircase of two of the towers. Great fun and full of history. Great for kids to rome free. Peaceful place. Best to visit with good weather.
Dan Haug (12 months ago)
This is a nice old ruin. Well worth the visit. The walk up the hill is nice as well, and the views make it worth the effort.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Goryokaku Fortress

Goryōkaku (五稜郭) (literally, 'five-point fort') is a star fort in the Japanese city of Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. The fortress was completed in 1866. It was the main fortress of the short-lived Republic of Ezo.

Goryōkaku was designed in 1855 by Takeda Ayasaburō and Jules Brunet. Their plans was based on the work of the French architect Vauban. The fortress was completed in 1866, two years before the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It is shaped like a five-pointed star. This allowed for greater numbers of gun emplacements on its walls than a traditional Japanese fortress, and reduced the number of blind spots where a cannon could not fire.

The fort was built by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the Tsugaru Strait against a possible invasion by the Meiji government.

Goryōkaku is famous as the site of the last battle of the Boshin War.