was here in the vale of the river Usk, that the most dastardly
deed ever to be committed in an English castle happened.
At Christmas time in 1175, William de Broase the Norman
Lord invited local Welsh chieftains to a celebration. Once
inside the great hall and without arms, the assembled guests
were murdered in cold blood. Among the guests who were so
devilishly slain were Seisyllt ap Dyfnwal and his son, brother-in-law
and nephew of the great Lord Rhys of Deheubarth.
On an early February morning in the year of 1176, warriors
from Deheubarth paid a visit to Abergavenny castle. When
a Norman mounted patrol came across the castle a few weeks
later, it was in a blackened state. The castle's great 12"
thick entrance doors were lying askew, on one side of them
were hundreds of arrow heads; on the other were the shafts
and feathers. Rhys thought it was most unfortunate that
De Broase had not been home.
a castle had been built previously on the site by Llywelyn
the Great it was Edward Ist who, after the death of Llywelyn
the Last, ordered the rebuilding of the castle: the remains
of which can be seen today. It is hard for one to imagine
on seeing the site today that upon completion the castle
rivaled those built at Harlech and Conway
The construction of the castle on Anglesey began in 1295,
on the direct orders of Edward Ist. The building of it came
under the direct supervision of Master James of St. George.
In the first year over 2600 men were assembled from all
over England to work on the Beaumaris. The castle was linked
to the Menai Straits by means of a constructed waterway,
so that ships up to 40 ton could sail into the castle's
dock. Never completed the castle fell into disrepair after
the English Civil War.
on rising ground above the confluence of the rivers Usk
and Honddu in Powys, Brecon was the scene of many a bloody
battle. The rivers often ran red with Anglo/Norman and Welsh
blood, as every Prince of Wales attacked it in an attempt
to push the Welsh border back east. O yes, Brecon being
a border town surely was a bloody place.
in what is now the centre of Cardiff the capital city of
Wales, the first Norman castle was built upon ruins of an
old Roman fort in 1091. It was constructed by Robert Fitzhammon,
the Lord of Gloucester, who was one of William the Conqueror's
ablest generals. Indeed the Conqueror himself stayed here
when he paid a pilgrimage to St. David's in Pembrokeshire.
1094 the Norman advance had reached this very old Roman
town, it was here that the Norman William fitz Baldwin constructed
his castle. As the years disappeared into history, it became
one of the most fought over castles in Wales. The sons of
the House of Deheubarth attacked it successfully many times.
Indeed Cadell the eldest son, in the times of the great
Lord Rhys, even refurbished it and lived there for a while.
Even Lord Rhys reeked his vengeance upon it many times.
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd attacked and burnt it, as did Owain
Glyndwr. Truly a castle with a troubled history .