Swansea Castle

Swansea, United Kingdom

Swansea Castle is located in the city centre of Swansea. It was founded by Henry de Beaumont in 1107 as the caput of the lordship of Gower. A timber castle existed in Swansea in 1116, when it was recorded as being attacked by Welsh forces who destroyed the outer defences. The castle was besieged in 1192 by Rhys ap Gruffydd, Prince of Deheubarth. Despite 10 weeks of starvation the castle was saved.

After various other unsuccessful attacks the castle fell in 1217 but was restored to the English in 1220 as part of the settlement between Llywelyn ap Iorwerth and Henry III of England. The castle was rebuilt in stone, probably between 1221 and 1284, firstly the inner castle with at least one tower, finally the large outer bailey.

By the 14th century the castle was losing its military importance. The castle owners were subsequently absentee landlords. By the 1670s the square tower was being used as a bottle factory and, in 1700, a town hall was built in the castle courtyard. By the mid 1700s the Great Hall had become Swansea's workhouse. The town hall was replaced by a post office in the 1800s and, by 1850, a military Drill Room had replaced the workhouse.

Part of the interior of the castle, in particular the large motte, was demolished 1909–1913 for the construction of a newspaper office. In the very early 1930s, poet Dylan Thomas worked for the South Wales Daily Post at the castle site. The newspaper offices were removed in 1976 and the remains of the castle were later consolidated and opened up to view from the street.

The only visible remains today, two sides of the rectangular South East corner of the outer bailey, were built in the late 13th or early 14th century. The south face (which ends in a tall garderobe tower) is capped with an elegant series of arcades at the wall-head.

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Founded: 1107
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

mehdi cheradi (6 months ago)
Swansea Castle is a fantastic spot. An intriguing historical monument nestled in the heart of old Swansea town. Numerous tourists wander around, snapping photos, making it a challenge to get a shot without someone in the frame. The locals are incredibly friendly, making you want to linger. It's an overall great experience. Thanks, Swansea.
Bostjan Klemencic (7 months ago)
An interesting historic landmark in the middle of the old town in Swansea. Many tourists walk around and take pictures so it may be a challenge to make a picture without people standing about.
Ana Castaño (8 months ago)
It is literally in the middle of the city. It’s nice, but nothing crazy. There’s a little explanation so you can find out when and by who it was built.
Works Inspired in Faith Colleen Moore (9 months ago)
I realy like the contrast of the modern building behind the historical castle remmenants.
Brahma Raina (2 years ago)
For a defensive structure that’s almost a thousand years old, it’s reasonably well-preserved. As per the signs outside, this is not the original castle or the remnants of one, it was intact re-constructed over a 100 years later - the original castle no longer exists. Personally, I’m not sure when the grills in the window openings were fitted. While they may look old but are they actually a 1000 years old? I seriously doubt it. As this is open to the public, there are no tickets at all, one can walk in anytime and admire the “defensive” structure. Located in Castle Square, it’s adjacent to Wine Street, a street frequented by pub-goers. There are pubs and restaurants all around, including McDonald’s. Try visiting this structure in the evenings when there are fewer cars on the road.
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