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

Dawn Shore (2 years ago)
Swansea Castle, history right in the middle of town ,well worth a visit.We found out more about the castle while doing a Swansea Treasure Trail.
Angel Remot (2 years ago)
It's a nice piece of history but that's about it really
Rachel Burman (2 years ago)
Is the hostile architecture around the castle needed? Benches that have bars to stop homeless people from sleeping on them is unnecessary. However, the castle itself is pretty.
Bud Wiesner (2 years ago)
Old place and still awesome. Played there when I was a kid awesome.
TheOutsider (2 years ago)
Some nice old bits if castle with some limited history to read.
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