Pencoed – castle


   The first castle in Pencoed was erected in the 13th century and belonged to Sir Richard de la More, then in the fourteenth century, Maurice and Walter de Kemys. Around the 1470, the estate was in the hands of the Morgan family from Tredegar. It was the property of Morgan Ap Jenkin Philip, and then his son, Sir Thomas Morgan, who took part in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. After the War of the Roses, the longer period of peace allowed the rebuilding of the castle into a more comfortable manor house. It was done by Sir Thomas Morgan before 1510, and the extension of the residence was carried out by his grandson, also Sir Thomas, in 1542-1565.
Around 1584 Pencoed became the property of Sir Walter Montagu, husband of granddaughter of Thomas Morgan, Anna. In 1701, the descendants of Montagu sold Pencoed to Mr John Jeffreys. His son, in turn, sold it to Admiral Thomas Mathews of Llandaff in 1749. In later years, the estate was in turn owned by Sir Mark Wood, Sir Robert Salusbury and Thomas Perry, but began to fall into disrepair and was transformed into a farm. At the beginning of the 20th century, small works were undertaken to rebuild the monument, but were never completed.


   The main building of the late-medieval residence was a tower-like house, built of red sandstone in the south-eastern part of the courtyard of roughly square sides about 35 meters long. The entrance to the courtyard was on the west side, from the mid-16th century in a three-story gatehouse with two turrets at the facade (one housed a staircase, the other a latrine). Although the gatehouse was crowned with a parapet on corbels and a battlement, its defensive function, due to the large number of windows, was limited. The southern part of the courtyard was closed by a curtain of the wall about 1.6 meters thick, ended in the south-west corner with a cylindrical tower with a diameter of about 5 meters. The tower housed two low rooms connected by stairs and the third floor, originally accessible from the level of the wall-walk in the crown of the defensive wall. The residential buildings on the eastern side of the courtyard had three floors and also a three-story entrance vestibule. Originally there was a kitchen in the northern wing. In the 16th century, a dovecote was built near the castle on the north-eastern side.

Current state

   The mansion is currently in a state of ruin and urgently expects a new host to renovate it. Given the excellent state of preservation, it can be a great example of a 16th-century building in the form of a transition between a castle and a early modern residence. Currently, the monument is not open to visitors, it is only possible to view it from the outside.

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Salter M., The castles of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Malvern 2002.

Website, Pencoed Castle.
Website, Pencoed Castle.