« PreviousContinue »
CASTLES OF PEMBROKESHIRE.
PEMBROKE. Giraldus says that Arnulf de Montgomeri first built this castle of sods and wattles, a scanty and slender construction, in the reign of Henry I.1 This date, however, must certainly be wrong, for the castle sustained a siege from the Welsh in 1094, and in 1098 Arnulf gave the chapel of St Nicholas in his castle of Pembroke to the abbey of St Martin at Sées.2 There is no motte at Pembroke Castle; the magnificent keep (clearly of the 13th century or later) stands in a small ward at the edge of a cliff, separated by a former ditch from the immense encircling bailey whose walls and towers are clearly of Edwardian date. The words of Giraldus "a castle of wattles and turf" might lead us to think that the first castle was a motte of the usual type, but the use which he makes of the same expression in his work on Ireland leads one to think that he means a less defensible fort, a mere bank and fence. There is some reason, moreover, to doubt whether the present castle of Pembroke stands on the same site as Arnulf's, as after the banishment of the latter, Gerald, the royal Seneschal of Pembroke "built the castle anew in the place called Little Cengarth.
But however this may be, the castle of Pembroke was certainly strong enough in 1094 to resist a great
1 "Primus hoc castrum Arnulphus de Mongumeri sub Anglorum rege Henrico primo ex virgis et cespite, tenue satis et exile construxit." Itin. Cambria, R. S., 89.
2 Quoted from Duchesne in Mon. Ang., vol. vi.
3 See Mr Cobbe's paper on Pembroke Castle in Arch. Camb., 1883, where reasons are given for thinking that the present ward was originally, and even up to 1300, the whole castle.
4 A motte-castle of earth and wood was certainly not regarded as "a weak and slender defence" in the time of Giraldus.
5 Brut y Tywysogion, 1095.
CASTLES OF PEMBROKESHIRE
insurrection of the Welsh, when all the castles of southwest Wales were destroyed, except Pembroke and Rhyd y Gors. And it continued to be one of the chief strongholds of English power in South Wales until Edward I. completed the conquest of the country. Its splendid situation on a high cliff at the mouth of an excellent harbour, to which supplies could be brought by sea, was one of the secrets of its strength. A passage cut in the rock led from the castle to a cave below opening on to the water.
*NEWPORT, or Trefdaeth, was the head of the Barony of Keymes, an independent lordship founded at the time of the first Norman advance, by Martin of Tours.' There is no mention of it before 1215. The present ruined castle of Newport is not earlier than the 13th century, but about 1 miles higher up the river, at Llanhyfer, is a fine motte and bailey, which probably mark the site of the first castle of Martin of Tours."
WISTON, alias Gwys or Wiz.-First mentioned in 1148, when it was taken by the Welsh. At a later period we find it one of the castles of the Earl of Pembroke. There is a motte still remaining, with a shell wall on top, 6 feet thick, having a plain round arched entrance. This masonry is probably the work of William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, as he restored the castle in 1220 after it had been razed to the ground by Llywelyn ap Jorwerth. The bailey is large and beanshaped.
LAWHADEN, or Llanyhadein, or Lauwadein.-First
1 Bridgeman's Hist. of South Wales, 17.
2 Arch. Camb., 3rd ser., v., a paper on Newport Castle, in which the writer says that there are two mottes at Llanhyfer, the larger one ditched round. The Ordnance Map only shows one.
3 Bruty Tywysogion, 1146.
Patent Rolls of Henry III., 255; Fœdera, i., 161.
mention in 1192.1 It afterwards became a palace of the bishops of St David's. There is no motte, though the circular outline of the platform on which the fine ruins of the castle stand, very much suggests a lowered motte.
HAVERFORDWEST.-First mentioned in the Pipe Roll of 1214-1215, when it was in the custody of the Earl of Pembroke. Although this castle is now a gaol, and the whole site masked with gaol buildings, the motte can still be seen distinctly from one side, though the keep which stands upon it is blocked by buildings. The ditch which went round the motte can also be traced. [H. W.]
NARBERTH. This castle is first mentioned in 1115, when it was burnt by the Welsh. Said to have been the castle of Stephen Perrot. The present ruins are entirely of the 13th century, and there is no motte; but Lewis states that the first castle was in another site, between the present town and Templeton; about which we have no information.
TENBY.-First mention in 1152. An important coast station. The small and curious round keep is placed on the highest point of a small island; it is a miniature copy of the keep of Pembroke, and was probably built by one of the earls Marshall, not earlier than the 13th century. There is no motte, nor was one needed in such a situation.
CASTLES OF CARDIGAN.
CARDIGAN Castle, or Aberteifi, has been so much transformed by the incorporation of the keep into a modern house that nothing decisive can be said about
1 Bruty Tywysogion, 1192.
2 Bridgeman says that Narberth was given to Stephen Perrot by Arnulf de Montgomeri, but gives no authority for this statement.
CASTLES OF CARDIGAN
its original plan, but there is nothing to foreclose the idea of a previous motte, and Speed's plan of 1611 seems to show that the keep and the small ward attached to it were on a higher elevation than the bailey. That the first castle was a wooden one is rendered almost certain by the fact that Rhys ap Griffith, after having demolished the previous castle, rebuilt it with stone and mortar, in the reign of Henry II.1 The Welsh chronicler speaks of this castle as the key of all Wales, an exaggeration certainly, but it was undoubtedly the most important stronghold of South Ceredigion. [H. W.] CILGERRAN, or Dingeraint (Fig. 41). This castle was certainly built by Earl Roger; a castle of great importance, in a magnificent situation. Like nearly all the castles in our Welsh list, it was repeatedly taken by the Welsh and retaken from them. The present masonry is of the 13th century, but the original motteand-bailey plan is quite discernible. [H. W.] It was a connecting link between the castles of Pembrokeshire and those of Cardigan, and stands near a road leading directly from Tenby and Narberth to Cardigan.
ABERYSTWYTH, also Lampadarn Vaur, also Aberrheiddiol.R In 1109 Henry I. deposed Cadwgan, a Welsh prince who had purchased from the king the government of Cardigan, and gave that country to Gilbert, son of Richard, Earl of Clare, who took possession, and built a castle "opposite to Llanbadarn, near the mouth of the river Ystwyth." This was
1 Brut, 1171.
2 Ibid., 1107. "Earl Gilbert built a castle at Dingeraint, where Earl Roger had before founded a castle."
3 The castle of Aberrheiddiol is probably the name of the present castle of Aberystwyth when it was first built, as Lewis Morris says that the river Rheiddiol formerly entered the sea near that point. Quoted by Meyrick, History of Cardigan, p. 488.
4 Brut, 1107.
undoubtedly the precursor of the modern castle of Aberystwyth, but it is doubtful whether it was on the same site; the present ruins are not opposite Llanbadarn. The castle was as important for the defence of N. Cardigan as Cardigan Castle for the south. It was taken at least seven times by the Welsh, and burnt at least five times. The present ruins are not earlier than the time of Edward I., and there is no motte or keep. [H. W.]
*BLAENPORTH, or Castell Gwythan (Fig. 41).—Also built by Gilbert de Clare, and evidently placed to defend the main road from Cardigan to Aberystwyth. The motte and bailey are still remarkably perfect, as shown by the 25-inch Ordnance Map.
YSTRAD PEITHYLL.-Another of Gilbert de Clare's castles, as it was inhabited by his steward. It was burnt by the Welsh in 1115,' and is never mentioned again, but its motte and ditch still survive, with some signs of a bailey, close to the little stream of the Peithyll, near Aberystwyth. [H. W.]
CHASTELL GWALTER, or Llanfihangel, in Pengwern (Fig. 41).-Castle of Walter de Bec, probably one of the barons of Gilbert de Clare. First mentioned in 1137, when it was burned by the Welsh. There is a small but well-made motte and part of an adjoining bailey standing in a most commanding position on a high plateau. The ditch of the motte is excavated in the rock. [D. H. M.]
*DINERTH.-Also burnt in 1137; restored by Roger, Earl of Clare, in 1159, after which it underwent many vicissitudes. Probably originally a castle of the Clares. "In the grounds of Mynachty, in the parish of
2 Ibid., 1135.
1 Brut, 1113.
3 Ibid., 1135, 1157, 1199, 1203, 1207.