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Wales Castles

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Abergavenny Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
On the A4022
Four towers remain of castle built in 1081 along with a 14th century gatehouse and barbican; mock Victorian keep built on remains of 12th century one.

On the A44
Late 13th century diamond shaped castle built by Edward I overlooking the beach; remnants of the outer wall, a twin towered gatehouse and other sections; slighted after the Civil War.

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Barry Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Off A4226, on west side of town of Barry, Glamorgan
Open site
Ruined south range and gate tower of a courtyard house.

Bangor, off the A545
Tel. 0248 810361
Cadw property; concentric moated castle built by Edward I; begun in 1295, but never completed; World Heritage listed site; wall walk; pay carpark; shop.

Beaupre Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Off A4222, two miles south-east of Cowbridge, south Glamorgan
Cadw property; ruins of late 13th century building with Tudor additions; a fortified manor house with inner courtyard; three storey gatehouse, 14th century fireplace, and Tudor porch.

Benton Castle
Llangwm, on minor road from A4076
South of Haverfordwest
Small 13th century castle enclosure; front entrance, consisting of two round towers and curtain wall, is all that remains.

Brecon Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Brecon, Powys
On the A40/470
Norman motte and bailey castle remains in garden of Bishop’s Palace; also remnants of a 13th century stone keep; now converted to a hotel.

Bronllys Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Bronllys, Powys
Southeast of A438/A479 junction
Tel. 01443 336 000 before visiting
Cadw property; scant remains that include a 1230s 80-foot high stone keep on top of an earlier motte overlooking the River Llynfi; reached by path through woodland.

Builth Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Builth, Powys, on the A470
One of the first of Edward I's castles in Wales, begun about 1277 on an earlier motte on high bluff; all that remains is outline of walls, covered with earth; Llewelyn the Great was killed in 1282 after leaving the castle.

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Caer Penrhos (Llanrhystyd)
In countryside near Penrhos, on the B4337
Ringwork fortification set on Iron Age earthwork; constructed in 1148 and fought over by Owain Gwynedd’s family.

Caerau Castle Ringwork
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Off the A48 near Cardiff, Glamorgan
Norman ringwork castle within an older Iron Age hillfort, now mostly overgrown with vegetation.

Caergwrle Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Caergwrle, Flintshire
On the A550
Castle begun in 1277 by Dafydd ap Grufudd when he rebelled against the Normans; damaged in the conflict; later rebuilt by Edward I, then burned and never repaired; sections of the curtain wall, round keep, and corner towers remain.

Caerleon Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Caerleon, on the B4236
Near Newport, Monmouthshire
Norman motte and bailey castle circa 1085; 13th century tower is all that remains of the castle.

Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon, Gwynedd
On the A487
Tel. 0286 677617
Cadw property; medieval Caernarfon castle was both a castle and palace; Edward II, first prince of Wales was born here; Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum in the castle; AV program tells about the building of the castle; display about princes of Wales; display on castle and town; pay car park; shop.

Caerphilly Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Caerphilly, Glamorgan
On the A469
Tel. 01222 883143
Cadw property; 30 acre site of one of the greatest medieval castles in the western world; built in 1268-71 by Earl Gilbert de Clare; concentric castle features massive gatehouses and water features; Castles of Wales exhibition AV tour, and working replicas of siege engines.

Caerwent Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Off A48 between Newport and Chepstow
Cadw property; Norman motte built on site of Roman fort.

Caldicot Castle and Country Park
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Church Road, Caldicot, Monmouthshire
In landscaped parkland signposted from B4245
Tel. 01291 420 241. Fax. 01291 435 094
Norman motte and bailey castle erected in 1086; stone keep, curtain wall, two towers added in 1221; later additions were two storey gatehouse, great hall and great gatehouse; castle restored in 1855; wooded 55 acre country park; picnic area; audio tours of castle; children’s activity area; shop; tea-room; parking
Web: Caldicot Castle and Country Park

Camlais Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Three miles southeast of Sennybridge
on the A40
Norman motte surrounded by a ditch and base of circular keep circa 1240.

Camrose Motte
Camrose, on the B4330
12th century Norman motte and bailey castle; abandoned and a 14th century manor house was built on the grounds.

Candleston Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Minor road off A48
near village of Merthyr Mawr
3 miles south-west of Bridgend Glamorgan
Open: open site
U-shaped earthwork with remains of a curtain and battlements; ruined 15th century hall turned into farmhouse, now abandoned; also a small tower house.

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Castle Street, downtown Cardiff
Tel. 029 20 878100
Norman keep on a hillock; Victorian mock castle built around a 15th century great hall by the 3rd marquess of Bute; themed rooms are over-the-top in décor and extravagance; military museum; tea-room; shop; visitor centre; parking in the city
Web: Cardiff Castle

Cardigan Castle
Cardigan, on the A487
Tel. NA
Currently no admission to the site; exterior view only
Constructed on the river Teifi in 1110 on the site of an earlier structure; redone in stone in 1176 and traded hands between the English and Welsh; slighted during the Civil War; private home, now derelict like the ruins, built in the inner bailey in the 1880s; in 2013 being developed into community centre, heritage centre, open air concert area; educational facilities for Welsh language, crafts, and culture; walls, buildings and gardens to be restored; restaurant and accommodation to be included.

Carew Castle
Carew, on banks of river Carew, off A4075
Tel. 0646 651 782
Managed by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Carew Cross under the care of Cadw; remains of 13th century castle with Tudor additions built on site of a Norman motte and bailey one; three towers, chapel, gatehouse, north range, Tudor windows; 11th century Carew Cross close by; Carew Mill also close by; parking; shop; picnic area
For photos and more details see our article Carew Castle, Mill, and Cross

Carmarthen Castle
Off B4312 at Carmarthen
Open: open site
Ruins of castle uilt in 1105 on site of earlier castle; stone defenses, gatehouse and curtain wall added in 13th century; south-west tower and gatehouse added in 14th century; used as a prison in 18th century.

Carndochan Castle
On the B4403, 2 miles west of Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd
Open: open site
Ruined medieval Welsh castle with two towers, one D-shaped and one round; sits atop a hill.

Carreg Cennen Castle
Minor roads from A483 to Trapp
Near Llandeilo
Tel. 0558 822291
Cadw property; ruins of castle built circa 1300; dramatically sited atop a sheer cliff with magnificent countryside views; several towers and portions of curtain wall still stand; walled passage leads to small natural limestone cave, thought to be a source of water; AV tour.

Carreghoffa Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Carreghofa, Montgomeryshire, Powys
Off the B4398
Only earthwork remains of 1101 castle that changed hands a number of times before its destruction by Llewelyn ab lorwerth circa 1230.

Castell Aberlleiniog
Two miles north of Beaumaris
Tel. n/a
Open: open site
Medieval steep sided castle mound with ruins of mid 1600s square fort on its summit; constructed c1090 by Hugh, earl of Chester, to imprison ruler of Gwynedd (he escaped and burned the castle); located in ancient woodland; parking.

Castell Blaen Llynfi
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Three miles west of Tretower (A479)
Scant late Norman ruins of a large bailey and ditch and a rubble curtain wall.

Castell Crugerydd
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Near New Radnor, Radnorshire, Powys
On the A44
Early 12th century earthwork motte and bailey castle on a hilltop above the Edw valley; mentioned in Geraldus Cambrensis book, Journey Through Wales.

Castell Cynfael
Tywyn, Gwynedd
On the A493
Motte and bailey Welsh castle on high promontory; built in mid 1100s.

Castell Dinas
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Between Bronllys and Tretower on hilltop Near the A479, Breconshire, Powys
(not to be confused with the well-known Castle Dinas Bran in Denbighshire)
Scant remains, overgrown with greenery, of a very early Norman building, overrun twice by the Welsh; highest castle in Britain at 1476 feet; once was an Iron Age hillfort.

Castell Dinas Bran
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Llangollen, Denbighshire
On the A539
Open: open site
Sited on a high hill above Llangollen; far reaching views over Dee valley; associated with legends of King Arthur, fairies, and more; built on Iron Age hillfort ruins circa late 13th century; destroyed by Edward I’s forces and never rebuilt.

Castell Du (Sennybridge Castle)
Sennybridge, on the A40, on private land
Native Welsh castle built circa 1260; only fragments survive: a tower and curtain wall.

Castell Garn Fadrun
Six miles west of Pwllheli (A497)
On Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd
On a hilltop from village of Garnfadrun
Iron Age hillfort with drystone ramparts; rebuilt in 1188; may be oldest surviving stone castle in Gwynedd.

Castell Gwallter
One half-mile west of Llandre, on B4353
On private land but can be viewed
Motte and bailey castle (no remains) with ditch and rampart surviving, built c1100.

Castell Machen
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Machen, on the A468
Several miles east of Caerphilly
Visible from the road only
Also called Castell Meredydd; fragments of a keep and curtain footings are all that are left of only native Welsh castle in Gwent; built c1217 on a cliff.

Castell y Bere
Abergynolwyn, near Tywyn, Gwynedd
Off the B4405
Open: open site
Triangular castle scenically sited below Cader Idris above the Dysynni valley; built by Llewelyn the Great in 1221 with twin D-shaped towers.

Castell-y-Blaidd (Wolf's Castle)
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Llanbadarn Fynydd, Radnorshire, Powys
On A483, on high elevation by a pass through the hills
Norman horseshoe shaped ringwork defensive enclosure; no remains of construction within the defenses.

Castle Caereinion
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Castle Caereinion, on the B4385
Montgomeryshire, Powys
Motte and bailey castle begun in 1156 by Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys; later destroyed by the Normans; only a raised mound of the motte in a corner of the churchyard remains.

Cefnllys Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Near Llandrindod Wells, Powys
Open: open site
Two castles built along high, narrow ridge; northern one built by Roger Mortimer around 1240; used by Llewelyn the Great against the Marcher Lords; later damaged in Owain Glyndwr's revolt circa 1406; in ruins by late 16th century.

Chepstow Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Chepstow, Monmouthshire, on the A48
Tel. 01291 624065
Cadw property; massive medieval castle on banks of Wye river, considered one of finest castles in Wales; construction began in 1067; barbican, three baileys, great tower, hall, gatehouse, domestic buildings, keep, curtain; shop; town pay and display.

Chirk Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Chirk, Denbighshire, off the A5
Tel. 01691 777701
National Trust property; border fortress begun by Roger Mortimer around 1295 and completed in 1310; remodeled extensively in the late 16th century, rebuilt following damage in the English Civil War; set in 18th century parkland; Neo-classical state rooms; restaurant; Home Farm Visitor Centre with tea-room; parking; shop; special events; plant sales, bookshop.

Cilgerran Castle
Minor road from village of Cilgerran
Off the A478
Te. 01239 621 339
National Trust property under guardianship of Cadw; 13th century ruined castle sited on promontory overlooking Teifi and Plysgog rivers; fragments of outer bailey, curtain wall, cross-wall, two round towers, gate tower, east and west towers; castle was home, in the early 1100s, to Nest, the "Helen of Wales", who arranged to be kidnapped from there by her cousin Owain, who had fallen in love with her.

Coity Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Two miles northeast of Bridgend, Glamorgan, Off the A4061
Open: open site
Cadw property; extensive ruins of castle built in 1180s on site of ringwork castle of 1100; curtain wall and stone keep; 14th century additions include kitchen block, round towers, east gate, drawbridge.

Conwy Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Conwy, Caernarfonshire
On the A547
Tel. 0492 592 358
Cadw property; rectangular castle built by Edward I in 1283, its walls encompass what was the medieval town of Conwy; eight round towers and two barbicans; large great hall and royal apartments; considered one of Europe's most imposing fortresses; visitor centre; shop.

Criccieth Castle
Criccieth, Gwynedd, on the A497
Sited above Tremadog Bay
Cadw property; one of great castles of Welsh princes; early 13th century construction attributed to Llewelyn the Great; massive twin towers flank a gate; curtain wall and rectangular tower added by Llewelyn the Last; castle was burned and walls torn down by Owain Glyndwr in 1404.

Crickhowell Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Crickhowell, Breconshire, Powys
On the A40
First a motte and bailey castle, remodelled in stone in 1272 with simple shell keep added; twin-towered gatehouse and a double tower in the eastern end are visible.

Cymer Castle
Minor road off A494, near Cymer, Gwynedd
Motte castle of early 12th century, now overgrown, little remains.

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Deganwy Castle
Deganwy, Gwynedd
Off the A546, on a hilltop
Motte and bailey castle built by Normans, then rebuilt by Welsh 1213, destroyed, rebuilt by Henry III; castle was taken by Llewelyn ap Gruffydd in 1263, then destroyed by him; few remains except for remnants of Henry III’s gatehouse tower foundations and Edward I’s curtain wall.

Denbigh Castle and Town Walls
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Denbigh, via the A525
Tel. 0 1745 813 385
Cadw property; on hill above the town; ruins of castle built by Edward I in 13th century; triple towered gatehouse; 2/3 mile of town walls; visitor centre; parking.

Deudraeth Castle
Off the A487 near Portmeirion, Gwynedd
Built by Gruffydd ap Cynan circa 1175; one of the earliest stone Welsh castles; little remains; mid 19th century mock Gothic villa occupies the site overlooking Portmeiron village.

Dinas Emrys
Off the A498, one mile north-east of Beddgelert, Gwynedd
Hilltop 13th century stone keep possibly erected by Llewelyn ap Iorwerth.

Dinefwr Castle
In Dinefwr Park
Off the A40, one mile west of Llandeilo
Sited on hilltop overlooking Tywi valley; best preserved native castle in Wales; 13th century stone castle built on site of earlier one; circular keep, curtain wall, round tower; wall walk; some residential buildings in inner ward; deer park; walks in the park which is also the site of Newton House, a National Trust property; shop; tea-room; Park under management of Cadw and Wildlife Trust of south and west Wales.

Dolbadarn Castle
Near Llanberis, Gwynedd
Off the A4086
Unmortared slate castle above Llyn Padarn lake.

Dolforwyn Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Minor roads from A483, Abermule
Midway between Newtown and Montgomery
Cadw property; steep uphill walk; built circa 1273 by Llywelyn the Last; ruins of circular tower, keep, and walls.

Dolwyddelan Castle
Dolwyddelan, Gwynedd
Off the A470
Early 13th century Welsh castle built by Llewelyn the Great to guard the approaches to Snowdonia; castle has D-shaped keep.

Dryslwyn Castle
Five miles west of Llandeilo, B4297
from A40 or B4300
Cadw property; built circa 1250 by Welsh lords on steep hill; xcant remains of hall and keep walls; castle besieged and undermined by Edward I.

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Ewloe Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Two miles north-west of Hawarden, Flintshire, on the A55
Welsh D-shaped design begun in 1257 by Llewelyn the Last on site of earlier motte and bailey castle; controlled the road to Chester; now in ruinous state; southern half of keep survives.

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Flint Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Flint, Flintshire
On the A548
Cadw property; ruinous castle on promontory in estuary of river Dee; square with detached keep; built by Edward I in 1277-86; changed hands a number of times; eventually used as a quarry; north-east tower is best preserved.

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Grosmont Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Grosmont, on the B4347
Open: open site on a hill
Cadw property; access via a wooden bridge—14th century drawbridge no longer remains over the empty moat;ruined gatehouse and curtain wall partially survive along with remains of two-storey rectangular hall block and Gothic chimney pot. Henry III came to Grosmont in 1233 to quell a Welsh rebellion. Henry V (before he was crowned king) made use of the castle when stamping out the Glyndwr rebellion in 1405.

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Harlech Castle
Harlech, Gwynedd
On the A496
Tel. 01766 780552
Cadw property; begun in 1283, and sited on a 200-foot high crag over Cardigan Bay, made internationally famous by the song “Men of Harlech”; now a World Heritage site; was held by both the Welsh and Parliamentary troops during the Civil War; well preserved.

Haverfordwest Castle
Haverfordwest, on the A40/A4076
On 80ft high hilltop above River Cleddau in centre of town
Founded in mid 12th century by Gilbert de Clare; parts of the Norman walls remain; curtain wall on north-west had walls 12 feet thick; Other ruins are two round towers, a chapel, a hall, and a dungeon; museum and former prison governor’s house located in the ruins (medieval castle made into prison in 18th century).

Hawarden Old Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
In a park south-east of town centre of Hawarden, Flintshire, on the B5126
Open: open site
Norman earthwork motte survives of an early castle that was later built in stone by Edward I c1280; well-preserved circular keep and scant remains of a rectangular tower remain from the stone castle.

Hay Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Hay-on-Wye, on the B4350
Norman castle ruins (wall, gateway, tower) built c1200; part of the ruins contain a bookstore; castle supposedly owned by Maud, wife of William de Braose.

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Kenfig Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Minor road northwest Porthcawl, Glamorgan (A4229/M4)
Rubble footings in sand are all that remain of a 13th century castle with a curtain, hall, and keep.

Kidwelly Castle
Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire
On the A484
Tel. 01554 890104
Cadw property; large ruin with inner ward with four round towers added to changing it into a concentric castle with walls within walls; later a hall block, chapel and outer stone curtain wall added; ruins include twin-towered gatehouse.

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Laugharne Castle
On the Taf River estuary
Access from A4066 St Clears
Tel. 01554 890 104
Cadw property; medieval castle transformed into an Elizabethan mansion; outer ward has large diamond-shaped curtain wall; gatehouse on north side; inner ward has two large round towers, connected by a Tudor hall; audio tour; small restored Victorian garden in castle; roses, shrubs, lawns, raised walk; parking; shop.

Llanblethian Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Llanblethian, just south of Cowbridge, Glamorgan, on the A48
Open: open site
Ruined rectangular building circa 1200, and later ruins of walls and keep; tower and gatehouse are all that remain.

Llandovery Castle
Llandovery, on the A40
Overlooking the River Bran
Small ruin on the hill of a motte, built circa 1100; changed hands a number of times between the Welsh and English.

Llangadog, on the A4069
May be viewed from road or footpath
Cadw propery; motte and bailey earthworks with modern house in centre.

Llanilid Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Two miles east of Pencoed, Glamorgan
Near M4, exit 35
Raised ringwork and ditch of Norman wooden castle.

Llansteffan Castle
Llansteffan, on the B4312
On a hilltop overlooking the river Tywi estuary
Cadw property; rtuined 12th century castle on site of a BC 600 Iron Age fort; twin towered gatehouse; gable end of large barn against outer curtain wall.

Llantrisant Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Llantrisant, Glamorgan, on A449
Built circa 1245 by Richard de Clare; remains consist of retaining wall pieces and a round keep.

Llawhaden Castle
Minor road from Canaston Bridge off A4075
Cadw property; castle was at centre of bishops of St David’s estates; destroyed by Welsh in 1192; rebuilt in stone in the1200s and further reconstructed in 14th century into a fortified mansion for the bishops; ruins include gatehouse, remains of great hall, undercroft, chapel, and prison, surrounded by a ditch.

Lougher Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Loughor, west Glamorgan
At A484 and A4240 junction;
Cadw property; site of Roman fort of Leucarum; oval motte castle, scant remains include a rectangular tower; overlooks estuary of river Loughor and guarded approach to Gower peninsula.

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Manorbier Castle
Overlooking Manorbier Bay, at Manorbier On the B4585, west of Tenby
Tel. 01834 871394
Bus 349 from Tenby stops at the gate
12th century fortified manor, hall remains, battlements in place; modern house stands in the grounds and can be rented as holiday accommodation.

Mold Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Mold, (A541) Flintshire
In a park opposite the parish church
Remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle built circa 1140.

Monmouth Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Monmouth, off the A40
Open: open site
Cadw property; exterior views only from parade ground; established by William fitz Osbern; 12th century hall/keep or tower and Great Castle House built in 1673, now home to Monmouthshire Royal Engineer’s; castle walls still stand.

Montgomery Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Off B4385, on hilltop above Montgomery, Powys
Built in 1223 to guard the border; demolished by Parliamentarians in the Civil War; well tower; countryside views; curtain wall.

Morlais Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Two miles north of Merthyr Tydfil A465/A4102/A4060), Mid- Glamorgan
On a hilltop
Remains of unfinished English castle built c1287, on the site of Iron Age hillfort; round keep, towers, cistern, and miscellaneous building fragments; complete ground floor with its vault.

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Narbeth Castle
Conserved and restored in 2005; ruined castle with parts of south-east tower, north-east tower, and other slight remains; originally an earth and timber castle, rebuilt in stone around 1257.

Neath Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
By a carpark in the town of Neath
Off the A465/A474
Former stronghold of the lords of Glamorgan; Norman castle’s twin towered gatehouse still stands; parts, including a ruined curtain wall, were destroyed by Welsh attacks.

Nevern Castle
Nevern, off the A487
Motte and bailey castle sited on hillside; large triangular bailey much overgrown; castle was originally Welsh, then Norman, then was reconquered by the Welsh.

Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
On banks of Ogmore River
town centre of Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan
On the A4063
Open: open site
Cadw property; built by 1104 by the Norman lords of Glamorgan and later added to; remains include stone curtain wall and towers, hall and Romanesque architectural detail in the south gateway.

Newcastle Emlyn
By the town of Newcastle Emlyn
Between the A475 and the A485
On a promontory by a loop of river Teifi
Ruined castle, built circa 1240; gatehouse two storeys high, flanking towers; was administrative, rather than defensive, building; blown up during the Civil War.

Newport Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
On southern edge of Newport
Via A48, A468, M4, A4042
Cadw property: exterior only; 14th century east front with towers is all that survives of castle, mainly used for administrative purposes.

Newport Castle
Newport, on the A487
Private but visible from the village
Founded at end of 12th century by William Fitz Martin, then taken by Llywelyn the Great and later by Llywelyn the Last; remains date from 13th century: towers, gatehouse, crypt, and dungeon; restored gatehouse made into a home; circular ringwork at the site.

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Ogmore Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
2.5 miles southwest of Bridgend
Mid Glamorgan, on the B4524
Cadw property; Norman castle constructed to guard the bridgehead; original earth and timber castle replaced by stone one circa 1116 and later 14th century building; remains include west wall, fireplace, and parts of the first floor and stone curtain wall.

Oxwich Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Oxwich, south-west of Swansea
Off the A4118
Tel. 01792 390359
Cadw property; 16th century ruined Tudor manor house built in courtyard style by Sir Rice Mansel; south-east tower still survives to six storeys.

Oystermouth Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Mumbles, on the A4067
At the head of the Gower peninsula
Early Norman castle on a hilltop; well preserved domestic buildings and keep.

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Pembroke Castle
Pembroke, on the A4139
Tel. 01646 681 510
Built by Roger de Montgomery in 1093 and rebuilt by the Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal, in 1189-1219; great keep is 80 feet high; reputed birthplace of Henry VII; AV presentation and displays on the history of the castle and times
Web: Pembroke Castle

Penmark Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Off A4226 at Penmark, South Glamorgan
behind parish church
Once belonged to Umfravilles family; one part of 13th century stone curtain wall survives along with a semi-circular tower.

Pennard Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Reached by footpath .5 mile south of Parkmill
On the A4118, Gower peninsula
overlooking Oxwich Bay
Belonged to the lords of Gower; original ringwork and wooden palisades replaced by stone defenses; Norman stone hall, tower, gatehouse, and curtain wall survive as ruins.

Penrhyn Castle
One mile east of Bangor, on the A5122
Gwynedd Snowdonia
Tel. 0 1248 353 084
National Trust property; coffee shop; parking; shop; museum exhibition on slate quarrying
For more details and photos see our feature at Penrhyn Castle

Penrice Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Gower peninsula, off the A4118
On private land, viewed from footpath
Overgrown earthworks and keep; gatehouse; walls.

Picton Castle
Near Haverfordwest, on the A40
Tel. 01437 751326
Edwardian castle with four round towers; four-storey block added circa 1800; further additions and restorations made it a modern residence with Georgian interiors; forty acres of woodland gardens, walled garden, fountain.

Powis Castle and Garden
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
One mile south of Welshpool, Montgomeryshire On the A483/458
Tel. 01938 551 944
National Trust property; stately home and gardens with 700 years of continuous occupation; original building circa 1200; known as Pool Castle in medieval times; square tower is thought to be late Norman keep; 1668 gateway leads to altered Tudor lodgings and an Edwardian gatehouse; altered over 400 years; paintings, furniture, tapestries; Clive Museum; shop, restaurant; parking; herbaceous borders, woodland, orangery, terraces.

Prestatyn Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Prestatyn, on the A548
Remains of a motte with surrounding ditch and bailey, built circa 1160; later destroyed by Owain Gwynedd.

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Raglan Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Off the A40 near Monmouth, Monmouthshire
Tel. 0291 690228
Cadw property; built in 1435 as a combination castle and palace; extensive ruin with a striking great tower; hall fireplace, inner courtyard, gatehouse, court, gallery, chapel, kitchen, moat walk, keep.

Rhayader Castle
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Near town of Rhayader and the church on bend of River Wye
Tel. NA
Built by Lord Rhys, prince of Deheubarth in 1177; scant remains of rock cut ditch on land side; OS Landranger 147 SN 968680.

Rhuddlan Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Rhuddlan, Flintshire, on the river Clwyd
On the A525/ A547
Tel. 01745 590777
Cadw property; established in 921; changed hands a number of times before being rebuilt by Edward I as his base to conquer Gwynedd; Here, in 1284, Edward I issued the document setting up the government of Wales under his rule; castle is well preserved.

Ruthin Castle
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Ruthin town centre, on the A494
Late 13th century castle, built on red sandstone ridge during Edward I’s campaigns against the Welsh; suffered much rebuilding; now a hotel.

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Skenfrith Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Skenfrith, on the B4521
On the Welsh side of the Monnow River
Cadw property; ruined castle with defensive ditch and walls of the keep of original castle; 13th century stone one built on earlier ruins by Hubert de Burgh, who had ambitions to be an important marcher lord; circular keep living quarters located in middle of rectangular ward; remains include signs of a fireplace, windows, corbels, and a garderobe; only basement levels of other living quarters survive.

St Clears Castle
.5 mile from St Clears, on the A40/A477
Open: open site
11th century Norman castle with only the remains of an large earthwork, ditch, and square bailey surviving.

St Donat’s Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Minor road west of Llantwit Major (B4265), Glamorgan
Tel. 01446 799100 or 799000
Sited on a clifftop with an inner and outer ward and dry moat, small original tower, square gatehouse, 15th century hall, 16th century north and west ranges; other building remains span a number of centuries; modern inhabited home erected within remains has tower and dining hall.

St Quentin’s Castle
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
One mile southwest of Cowbridge (A48)
Tel. 0 1443 336 000 (info line)
Cadw property; little survives of this 14th century castle except parts of the wall to the gatehouse, tower, square keep and gatehouse.

Swansea Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Swansea city centre
Open: exterior only
Cadw property; built in the late 13th/early 14th centuries by the de Braose lords of Gower, William II and William III; their descendant, John Mowbray, added to it; in late 18th century it became, for a while, a debtor's prison; ruins of the castle are sited in a large plaza.

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Tenby Castle
Tenby, on the A478/B4585, on a rocky headland
Open: open site
13th century castle walls remain along with a ruined gate and a tower; town’s defensive walls are well preserved.

On the A525/B5431
Six miles south-east of Ruthin
Motte and bailey earthwork, rampart, and ditch survive of a castle built in 1149 by Owain Gwynedd.

Minor road off A470
Three miles north of village of Trawsfynydd
Conical motte on site of former Roman fort is all that surivives of the castle that is part of a Welsh legend; outstanding views over surrounding countryside.

North Wales Coast and Borderlands
On the A525/B5431
Six miles southeast of Ruthin.
Motte and bailey earthwork, rampart, and ditch survive of a castle built in 1149 by Owain Gwynedd.

Tretower Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Tretower, off the A479
Five miles northwest of Crickhowell
Tel. 0 1874 730 279
Cadw property; ruined castle with 13th century round keep; shares the grounds with a medieval mansion; (See also Tretower Court).

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Usk Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Overlooks town of Usk, Monmouthshire
On a lane along Raglan Rd
On the A472
Castle built by Norman lord, William Marshall on site of an earthwork defence; 12th century square stone keep, round tower and parts of curtain wall survive; 14th century gatehouse is part of a 17th century private home
Web: Usk Castle

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Weobley Castle
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
B4271 or B4295 to Llanrhidian village
Then by minor road
Tel. 01792 390012
Cadw property; castle erected by powerful de la Bere family in the early 14th century; more fortified manor than castle; expanded in the 15th century and provided with a tall, arched entry; visitors can ascend to the solar.

White Castle
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Seven miles east of Abergavenny, on low hill
One mile from Llantilio Crossenny, on the B4233
Tel. 01600 780380
Cadw property; pear-shaped, secluded, 12th century castle; originally named Llantilio Castle; thought to be work of Henry II; remodelled in latter part of 13th century; outer bailey defenses largely intact; north side curtain wall connects six round towers, two of which form a gatehouse; large walled inner ward with towers; wooden bridge leads over the waterfilled moat.

Wiston Castle
Minor roads off A40, east of Haverfordwest
Open: open site on high hill
Cadw property; ruined motte and bailey castle remains; circular ditch, stone wall, and arched entrance.

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Ystrad Meurig Castle
Ystrad Meurig village, on B4340
On hill overlooking village church; foundations of oblong keep visible in the turf; thought to date from 1110 when Ceredigion invaded by Gilbert de Clare; castle fell to Lord Rhys but was destroyed by his son, Maelgwn, who was opposed to Llywelyn the Great; on private land but visible from roadside; OS Landranger I35 SN 702675.

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