Caerleon – castle

History

Norman castle in Caerleon was erected in 1085. It was captured by the Welsh in 1217, but in the same year Anglo-Norman forces recaptured it. The castle managed to resist another Welsh attack in 1231. In the first half of the thirteenth century, probably right after recovering in 1217, it was rebuilt from timber to brick. The work was carried out on the initiative of William Marshall, the first earl of Pembroke, probably using stones from the Roman legionary fort. After the death of William Marshall, in 1245 the castle passed into the hands of the de Clare family. In the eighteenth century, the castle was already in ruins.

Architecture

The castle from the 11th century was a timber motte and bailey structure with a keep placed on an earth mound and with a two-tower gatehouse and at least two other towers on the outer bailey of the castle. The mound was 65 meters in diameter and 30 meters in height, with a top diameter of 25 meters. It was surrounded by a moat, probably with a drawbridge over it. At the beginning of the 13th century, the timber keep was replaced with a stone one, and stone, cylindrical towers and a defensive wall protecting the outer ward were also erected.

Current state

To this day, only a single tower of the outer fragment of the fortifications from the 13th century and a fragment of the defensive wall survived. On the fenced, densely overgrown area, there is also an earth mound on which the keep was originally located. Today the castle is best known from the chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, who suggested that Caerleon was the court of king Arthur and believed that the ruins of the Roman amphitheater are the remains of his legendary round table.

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bibliography:
Kenyon J., The medieval castles of Wales, Cardiff 2010.