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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User Reviews

Mick (9 months 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 (13 months ago)
Nice ruins. Worth going if you are in the area.
Paul Peters (2 years ago)
Nice place to visit . Not actually a castle , but a fortified manor house. Parking down below the castle is a bit pricey £5.00 . Campsite near by . Personally, I find entrance fees to these historic sites over priced. Approach roads are quite narrow in places . Overall, a pleasant place to visit . There is parking within the grounds , approximately 10 or so cars and free . Dogs allowed , but not in the manor house .
asylum cakery (2 years ago)
Went today with my family as we love learning about historical buildings, paid over £10 to get in and was there about 15 minutes. Really disappointed! Didn't learn anything about the site took 2 minutes to walk around the remains and then was told there was furniture upstairs with facts, went up and it was pretty much an empty room with two beds and some clothes hanging up. Complete waste of money.
jeanne capey (2 years ago)
We had a super day out of the mumbles and we topped it all by a visit to Oxwich. Superb setting, interesting history, hands on activities for younger visitors. We were particularly lucky to be there on an special day as an archer and his mate were showing medieval weapons and we could have a go at shouting arrows with a bow. Amazing
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