Oxwich Castle

Oxwich, United Kingdom

Oxwich Castle occupies a position on a wooded headland overlooking Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula, Wales. Although it may occupy the site of an earlier fortification, it is a castle in name only as it is a grand Tudor fortified manor house built in courtyard style.

A charter of 1306 granted in Swansea refers to tenants of 'the ancient knight's fees' (that is, military tenants) at Oxwich, and this indicates that there may have been some fortifications on the site before the present castle. At this time Oxwich was owned by the de Penres family, who had been in possession since the 1230s. However, with the exception of a ruined tower to the north-east of the castle, which may predate the Tudor building, (and may be the castrum de Oxenwych mentioned in a document of 1459) nothing remains of any earlier works.

The existing buildings were largely created in the 16th century. They consist of a Gateway (built 1520–1538) leading to a courtyard, a Hall at the east of the courtyard opposite the Gateway (1559–1580) and a South Range (1520–38). At the corner of the Hall and the South Range is the six-story South-East Tower. To the north-east of the Castle are the remains of a large stone dovecote.

The Gateway is surmounted by a plaque with the coats of arms of the Mansell family and the Penrice and Scurlage families to which Sir Rhys was related. The East Range carried a large Hall, and, with the South-East Tower to which it was connected, provided extensive accommodation. It is possible that the construction of this range may have led to the bankruptcy of its builder, Sir Edward Mansell. The South Range contained a kitchen.



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Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Joshua Mansfield (2 years ago)
I arrived late in the afternoon and they were closing early due to lack of visitors. I talked with the guide/caretaker and he opened it up for me. There isn't much to see but he was informative and happy to answer my questions.
Victoria Smith (2 years ago)
Soo disappointed! Website said it was open, so we visited, only to find it closed 'for the winter'. It's 30th April!
Ezmeralda Edwards (3 years ago)
Gutted, it was closed due to covid. It looks great, but sadly could only look over the fence to it.
Mick (3 years ago)
Appearances can be deceptive. Oxwich Castle, towering splendidly above the wide sweep of Oxwich Bay, isn’t really a castle at all. It’s a magnificent Tudor manor house built by an ambitious father and son whose mock-military flourishes are all about social climbing rather than defence. From the moment you walk through the imposing gateway emblazoned with the arms of Sir Rice Mansel, it’s clear this was the home of a gentry family looking to be movers and shakers in the prosperous years of the 16th century.
Ellie Clayton (4 years ago)
Nice ruins. Worth going if you are in the area.
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