« PreviousContinue »
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.' 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. 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.” 4
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 i Brut, 1113.
3 Ibid., 1135. 3 Ibid., 1135, 1157, 1199, 1203, 1207.
CASTLES OF CARDIGAN
Llanbadarn Tref Eglwys, is a small hill called Hero Castell, probably the site of the keep of Dinerth
The O.M. shows a small motte and bailey placed between two streams.
*CAERWEDROS, or Castell Llwyndafydd, also burned by the Welsh in 1137, after which it is not mentioned again. “A very large moated tumulus, with foundations of walls on the top."3 Probably a Clare castle.
*HUMPHREY'S CASTLE, now Castle Howel, from one of its Welsh conquerors.
The original name shows that it was built by a Norman, and it was restored by Roger, Earl of Clare, in 1159. A moated tumulus near the river Clettwr marks the site of Humphrey's Castle."
Ystrad MEURUG, or Meyric, at the head of the valley of the Teifi, and commanding the pass leading over into Radnorshire.—Built by Gilbert de Clare when he reconquered Cardigan, and one of his most important castles. Its importance is shown by the fact that it had a small stone keep, the date of which cannot now be determined, as only the foundations remain, buried under sods. There is no motte, and the bailey can only be guessed at by a portion of the ditch which still remains on the N. side, and by two platforms which appear to be artificially levelled. The castle is about three miles from the Sarn Helen or Roman road through Cardigan.
*Pont Y STUFFAN, or Stephen's Bridge, near Lampeter.—Burnt by the Welsh in 1138, and not
1 Meyrick's Hist. of Cardigan, p. 293. Dinerth is not the same as Llanrhystyd, though Lewis (Top. Dict. Wales) says it is; the two places have separate mention in Brut, 1157. Mr Clark mentions the motte. M. M. A., i., 115. 9 Brut, 1135.
3 Meyrick's Hist. of Cardigan, p. 232. 4 Brut, 1157
6 Beauties of England and Wales, Cardigan, p. 502. 6 Brut, under 1113.