It was William fitz
Osbern, the Norman founder of Hereford castle, that was
the architect and builder of Chepstow. Even while Hereford
was in early stages of construction, he set off south to
subdue the area between Hereford and the sea. Three years
later he returned to Hereford, having seen both Chepstow
and Monmouth, which was built to protect a double crossing
of the Monnow and Wye rivers, almost completed.
massive construction at the mouth of the Conway river was
began in 1283 by master builder James of St. George on the
direct orders of king Edward Ist, who said that the castle
would never fall into enemy hands. O if he had only lived
until 1403, two of Owain Glyndwr's cousins along with twelve
of their men tricked their way in when the garrison was
in church. It was ransomed back to the English almost a
month later, but it had been in "enemy hands".
rising ground high up on the moor above the town of the
same name sits the ruins of this another of Edward Ist ring
of fortresses. However, it was not the first castle to
upon the imposing site, for here was the castle of Dafydd
ap Gruffydd the brother of Llywelyn The Last. It took a
mighty English army over twenty eight days to overwhelm
Dafydd's troops in those final days of the Welsh crown.
the fact that nearly 2,500 men worked on site at one time,
it was not until 1285 that the castle neared completion.
Edward Ist chose the site well, for despite being attacked
jointly by the troops of both Llywelyn and Dafydd ap Gruffydd
the castle never fell into Welsh hands. Undoubtedly its
survival was due to quick sands protecting the approach
on the land side, plus its ability to be restocked from
first Norman position of Kidwelly at the upper limit of
tidal water in the Gwendraeth valley in south west Wales
was established by Roger, the Bishop of Salisbury and the
Justiciar of England. It was attacked and burnt in 1159
by the Lord Rhys of Deheubarth who then rebuilt it. However,
the castle was back in Norman hands by 1201. The ruins one
can see today, are of a castle that was finally completed
early in the fifteenth century.
powerful fortress high on a hill overlooking Carmarthen
bay in west Wales was a prized Norman possession, that is
until warriors under the command of the three princes of
Deheubarth appeared out of the rising mists one morning
in May of 1146. After what was a bloody and vicious attack
the castle fell to the Welsh force as night was falling.
the debris of war had been cleared Cadell, the elder Prince,
appointed his 15 year old brother Maredudd as Castellan.
To young for such an appointment one might say, no indeed
within days of his brothers having left for home the young
prince was called upon to demonstrate his prowess as Castellan.
A Norman force arrived in an attempt to reclaim the castle.
The young Castellan however, being a master tactician even
at such an early age, succeeded in organizing his troops
and beat off the attack: indeed Maredudd was to hold the
castle for the following 12 years until his death.
Ludlow: This great fortress, partially protected
by the rivers Teme and Corfe, was built in the then north west
corner of the DeLacy family estate. It joined the line of
along the Welsh border, having Shrewsbury to the
north and Hereford to the south. It became an English Royal
castle in 1461 and except for a short period of time during the English civil
war it was to remain so for the next 350 years.
of this castle high up on a rocky
the Severn valley and of the town of the same name, was
began by order of Henry III in 1223. It was attacked by
Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in 1228. He again attacked it in 1231,
at the same time he burnt the town to the ground. In 1245
it was the turn of Dafydd ap Llywelyn to attack, damage,
and burn the castle and town.
by Roger of Montgomery in 1093, this mighty Norman fortress
withstood every Welsh attack that could be brought against
it. Situated on a headland above the tidal waters of the
Haven of Milford, the castle guarded the main western route
from the sea into Wales. It was from the mighty battlements
that Lord Rhys of Deheubarth watched the ill-fated army
of king Henry II sail for the invasion of Ireland.
castle, who's very rock foundations are washed by the river
Severn, was built by Roger de Montgomery in 1070. It guarded
the only safe way across the marshes into Shrewsbury town.
It was from here that many expeditions into Wales were planed
and carried out. The castle and town surrendered to the
forces of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth ( Llywelyn the Great ) on
May 17th 1215, during the Barons rebellion against Llywelyn's
father-in-law king John of England.