Old Beaupre Castle

Cowbridge, United Kingdom

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, Richard. This additional work added the impressive outer gatehouse, completed in 1586 and a three-storeyed Renaissance porch, completed 1600, along with the buildings around the middle court. The buildings on the west side of the middle court, now roofless, provided luxurious living accommodation with large windows, handsome fireplaces, a fine stone stairway, and numerous privies connected to a drain along which water still flows.

After the 16th century alterations little work was carried out on Beaupre, and after the English Civil War the Basset family fortunes went into decline. At the beginning of the 18th century, the Basset inheritance eventually passed to the Jones family. The Jones family decided not to settle in Beaupre Castle and chose to use the smaller and more convenient mansion of New Beaupre. Beaupre was sold in 1709, and by that time it was in a state of disrepair with only part of it still habitable. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that it continued to be at least partly occupied as various fireplaces and windows were blocked up, presumably to reduce the taxes payable. The southeastern block continues to be occupied up to the present time as a farmhouse and has a separate listing on the historic buildings register.



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Cowbridge, United Kingdom
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Founded: c. 1300
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nigel Carl (11 months ago)
A lovely old Elizabethan manor house, not a castle, but worth a visit, unfortunately you can't get to it by car , you have to park in the lanes and walk along the public footpath to it.
Jenna Turnbull (11 months ago)
Really enjoyed visiting the castle. It’s in excellent condition, and feels like a little gem nestled in the hillside. Only thing that dampened it (and this isn’t a suggestion that it should be any different) but there were cows in the first field when crossing using the public footpath. At one point I had my son walking the other side of the fence, as they were not happy to have the two of us there. We took a long detour, but I won’t be visiting again until they have been moved. Obviously the footpath crosses farmland so this is completely acceptable and I would not expect any less, but we did not feel safe so have learnt for next time. Looking forward to going back when my nerves don’t have to be tested quite so much!
eastvillepark (12 months ago)
Followed Google sat nav which lead me to the farm. Then remembered the comments here. Footpath starts on St Athan Road. There is lay-by room for 2 cars. Easy walk across fields. Well worth the walk. A shame there was parts of the castle under reconstruction. But I can always revisit.
Gary Dunsford (12 months ago)
Great place with interesting history well described in cadw info boards. Be sure to climb steps to see view over the gatehouse. To get there you need to park in the layby at Cowbridge end of St Mary Church village. There is a brown sign but is only visible if travelling from St Athan. The walk is less than 10 minutes across fields with cows and a few stiles (the first is the most challenging). I took my dog with me. I had to lift him over the stiles and keep on lead near the cows and at the castle, but otherwise a dog-friendly small trek.
terry bailey (2 years ago)
Great hidden gem
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