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Abergavenny Castle

Abergavenny: It 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.

Aberystwyth Castle

Aberystwyth: Whilst 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 for splendour

Beaumaris Castle - Anglesey

Beaumaris: 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 directly 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.

Brecon Castle

Brecon: Situated 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.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff: Situated 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.

Carmarthen Castle

Carmarthen: By 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 .

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