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Henry I. We thus see at what an early date this important family made its appearance in Welsh history.
The conquest of Brecknock (Brecheiniog) we have already briefly referred to. It must have begun as early as 1088, for in that year Bernard de Neufmarché gave to St Peter's Abbey at Gloucester the church and manor of Glasbury. The inheritance of Bernard passed by marriage to the De Braoses, and from them to the Mortimers. It is convenient to mention in this connection the Norman conquest of Radnor, of which the De Braoses and Mortimers were the heroes. A charter of Philip de Braose, not later than 1096, is dated at “Raddenoam."1 Even during the anarchy of Stephen's reign, the Mortimers were able to maintain their hold on this district, for the Brut relates that in 1145, Hugh, son of Ralph Mortimer, conquered
Mortimer, conquered Malienydd and Elvael the second time. These two districts properly belong to Powys, though geographically in South Wales.
We leave to the last the conquest of Glamorgan, which may possibly have been one of the earliest, but whose date is still a matter of dispute, owing to the legendary nature of the Aberpergwm version of the Brut, the only one which even alludes to this conquest.
. We have, however, an initial date given us in the year 1082, when the Brut y Tywysogion tell us of the building of Cardiff Castle. 3 The conquest of “Morgannwg,” that is the country between the Usk and the Neath, was the most permanent of any of those accomplished by the Normans in Wales, but its details
i Lloyd, “Wales and the Coming of the Normans,” Cymmrodor. Trans., 1899 : refers to Marchegay, Chartes du Prieurie de Monmouth.
2 Brut, 1143.
3 The date given is 1080, but as the dates in the Brut at this period are uniformly two years too early, we alter them accordingly throughout this chapter.
CONQUEST OF GLAMORGAN
are the most obscure of
The earlier version of the Brut takes no notice of the conquest of Glamorgan; the later version which goes by the name of the Gwentian Chroniclel tells us that the Norman Robert Fitz Hamon, being called in to the help of one Welsh prince against another, conquered Glamorgan for himself, and divided it amongst his followers, who built castles in all parts of the country. The date given is 1088. It seems to be agreed by historians that while the facts of Robert Fitz Hamon's existence and of his conquest of Glamorgan are certain, the details and the list of followers given in this chronicle are quite untrustworthy.
The district called Gower did not then form part of Glamorgan, as it does now, though it is still ecclesiastically separate. If we are to believe the Aberpergwm Brut, it must have been conquered in 1094, when William de Londres, one of the “knights” of Robert Fitz Hamon, built a strong castle in Cydweli (Kidwelly).*
We will now briefly notice such of the castles of these various districts as are mentioned in the sources to which we have already referred in our last chapter, taking them in the order of the modern counties in which they are found.
1 Now more often called the Aberpergwm Brut, from the place where the MS. is preserved.
2 See Freeman, Norman Conquest, v., 820; William Rufus, ii., 79; and Prof. Tout, in Y Cymmerodor, ix., 208. For this reason we do not use the list of castles given in this chronicle, but confine ourselves to those mentioned in the more trustworthy Brut y Tywysogion.
3 The same MS. says, under the year 1099, “Harry Beaumont came to Gower, against the sons of Caradog ap Jestin, and won many of their lands, and built the castle of Abertawy (Swansea) and the castle of Aberllychor (Loughor), and the castle of Llanrhidian (Weobley), and the castle of Penrhys (Penrice), and established himself there, and brought Saxons from Somerset there, where they obtained lands; and the greatest usurpation of all the Frenchmen was his in Gower."
CASTLES OF PEMBROKESHIRE.
that Arnulf de Montgomeri first built this castle of sods and wattles, a scanty and slender construction, in the reign of Henry 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.” 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.” 5
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.
Quoted from Duchesne in Mon. Ang., vol. vi. * 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.
6 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 it 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.2
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 mention in 1192. 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
i Bridgeman's Hist. of South Wales, 17.
* 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 Brut y Tywysogion, 1146.
– 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 1915, 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 Brut y Tywysogion, 1192.
2 Bridgeman says that Narberth was given to Stephen Perrot by Arnulf de Montgomeri, but gives no authority for this statement.