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 owned by the St Johns, and from 1656, by the descendants of Colonel Philip Jones.

Fonmon Castle is situated in extensive gardens and is constructed of local sourced stone, primarily limestone and blue lias rubble. There is one arched internal doorway which appears to be Sutton stone; but are covered in grey render which disguises much of the stonework. The roofs are of mixed slates with lead gutters and dressings.

The main building is of two and three storeys and castellated almost throughout. Apart from the south east corner tower, which is slightly higher, the walls are largely uniform in height.

In the grounds, to the south west of the house, there is an 18th-century stable which incorporates a late medieval barn. The south and east walls of the stable are castellated to impress those approaching from the south. The stable has a fine polygonal stone chimney, which is a rare surviving medieval find.

Further south is a battlemented watch tower of either 17th or 18th century design, thought to have been modeled on the one found at St Donat. It is believed the watch tower was constructed in two builds, and may have been founded on original ruined medieval stonework.  Due to its time scale and features, it is assumed to have been constructed during the medievalizing improvements carried out by Robert Jones III.

Notable features inside the castle include the combined grand drawing room and library, designed by Thomas Stocking. Described by Newman as the 'glory of Fonmon', the library, running east to west is lit by two Venetian windows, a stone one to the west wall and a sashed timber oriel window to the east. The room is divided into three sections, the largest central, with square end bays with segmental arches. There are trophies of the chase in the spandrels of the arches and arabesques and wreaths adorn the flat of the ceiling with an Apollo head in a sunburst at its centre.



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

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User Reviews

Chris O'Donovan (15 months ago)
What a gem of a place! Kids and I loved it and will definitely be going back. Staff were all great, friendly and enthusiastic. incredibly well maintained everywhere! And plenty of things to do with the kids, their going to sleep well tonight!!
Philip Thomas (15 months ago)
My wife and I visited on May 1st with our daughter and three grandchildren. really lovely place to visit with lots to occupy the children of all ages. Very imaginative 'exhibits' and the dinosaurs are fantastic. The prices of gifts and food in the cafeteria were quite expensive and we were glad we took a picnic. Lovely play area for children - they didn't want to leave. All in all a great day out
Amit Ladhani (16 months ago)
Amazing dinosaur walk. My 4 year old daughter loved it. Wonderful and friendly staff too. Highly recommend a visit with or without kids!
Sorayya Sainsbury (16 months ago)
An amazing day out. The managers and staff are so lovely and welcoming. The story trail and Dino trail were great fun. We walked all over the grounds, playing in the little parks and then settled with a lolly at the end. Facilities are clean and lots of sanitising/hand washing stations dotted around.
A H25 (16 months ago)
Amazing family day out for all ages. The Dino trail is fantastic, my 3 year old is still talking about it 4 days later. The pizza was really nice and huge portions for the price. Well worth the money.
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