Llandovery – castle

History

The first timber – earth castle in Llandovery, in the form of motte and bailey, was erected around 1116 by the Norman knight Richard Fitz Pons in the center of important routes connecting Dyfed with Powys. In the following years it was repeatedly conquered by the Welsh princes of Deheubarth. Despite the large sums of money spent by king Henry II on the repair in 1159-1162, the castle was again occupied by the Welsh. It was not until 1277 during the war of Edward I with Wales that it became the property of the English, with the brief exception of a few months in 1282, when Llywelyn The Last captured Llandovery. The castle was given by king Edward I to John Giffard, the first baron of Giffard, who probably rebuilt it into a stone building. In 1299, the castle passed into the hands of the Audley family from Helleigh, and then to the Touchet family in the fourteenth century. In 1403 it was besieged during the Welsh rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr. Then in the presence of king Henry IV at the castle was executed sympathizer of Glyndŵr named Llewelyn ap Gruffudd Fychan, who deliberately fooled the march of English troops. In 1532, the castle was burned during the rebellion of Hywel ap Rhys and has been in ruin since then.

Architecture

Built on a hill about 13 meters high, the castle from the end of the 13th century consisted of a circumference of defense walls reinforced from the west by a powerful semicircular tower. On the first floor it had a latrine. The entrance to the castle was protected by a gatehouse consisting of two flanking towers. There are also visible traces of residential buildings, such as a hall or kitchen, which were located in the inner ward. The whole was additionally secured by a dry moat.

Current state

The large part of the semicircular tower and the fragments of the defensive wall located next to it have survived to the present. Entrance to the castle is free.

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bibliography:
Kenyon J., The medieval castles of Wales, Cardiff 2010.
Website castlewales.com, Llandovery Castle.
Website wikipedia.org, Llandovery Castle.