White Castle was established by the Normans in the wake of the invasion of England in 1066, to protect the route from Wales to Hereford. Possibly commissioned by William fitz Osbern, the Earl of Hereford, it comprised three large earthworks with timber defences. In 1135, a major Welsh revolt took place and in response King Stephen brought together White Castle and its sister fortifications of Grosmont and Skenfrith to form a lordship known as the 'Three Castles', which continued to play a role in defending the region from Welsh attack for several centuries.

King John gave the castle to a powerful royal official, Hubert de Burgh, in 1201. Over the next few decades, it passed back and forth between several owners, as Hubert, the rival de Braose family, and the Crown took control of the property. During this period, White Castle was substantially rebuilt, with stone curtain walls, mural towers and gatehouses. In 1267 it was granted to Edmund, the Earl of Lancaster, and remained in the hands of the earldom, and later duchy, of Lancaster until 1825.

Edward I's conquest of Wales in 1282 removed much of White Castle's military utility, and by the 16th century it had fallen into disuse and ruin.

The castle is made up of a central inner ward, a crescent-shaped hornwork to the south, and an outer ward to the north, with its stonework constructed from red sandstone. The outer ward was originally much larger, extending around the castle further to the east, but only limited traces of these earthworks survive. It is now entered from the north-east although, prior to the 13th century, the castle 's entrance was originally on the south side. The historian Paul Remfry considers the castle to be 'a masterpiece of military engineering' for the period.



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Founded: c. 1067
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Poly (2 months ago)
Limited parking but perfect for a walk with the family. There are tables to sit down and have a quick snack.
Richard (3 months ago)
Great historical site. Limited parking space. Free to enter but can donate £3 by card at a machine. It didn't work that day though.
Jonathan Gardener (3 months ago)
A beautifully preserved and maintained Castle. There's a small picnic area with seats but plenty of space inside to enjoy. The information signs area dotted around give good insight to the castles history, as well as suggestions on the Cadw app for more info. No visitor centre or other facilities - bring a picnic to enjoy! :)
Raif & Vy (4 months ago)
Easy to find, just follow google maps. Parking spots available. Really awesome as this is the first castle I have seen with water in the moat. I have a English heritage membership and so far not one of their castles have had water in the moat. A really lovely walk to the castle, plenty of space for a picnic, take in the fresh air & play some outdoor games for the kids.
elisha b (8 months ago)
It's free entry, nice big open grass space between the inner and outer castel. Takes no more than 20 minutes to see the whole castle but it is a good picnic spot and a good day out for children or people that can't do long walks. You do have to drive through a narrow country lane with a fee blind spots to get there and the parking is only enough for a handful of cars.
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