Carreghoffa Castle

Powys, Mid-Wales (SJ 255 222)

copyright by Daniel Mersey

The earthworks (27m x 13m) are now triangular, but were probably originally rectangular and at least three times as large. Built in 1101 by Robert de Bellesme, and captured by Henry I's army in 1102. Repaired and garrisoned by Henry II in 1159-62, but wrested from English control in 1163 when captured by Owain Cyfeiliog and Owain Fychan. Henry retook it in 1165, but by 1187, Owain Fychan had retaken it. Typical of petty rivalries between Welsh nobles, Owain was slain in a night attack on the castle by his cousins Gwenwynwyn and Cadwallon. 1194 saw the English retake the castle, at which point it was refortified with a stone curtain wall (apparently to guard a nearby silver mine). In 1197, the castle was again handed back to the welsh, Gwenwynwyn being the recipient - in order to secure the release of a hostage (Gryffydd ap Rhys). 1212-13 saw Robert de Vipont's rebuilding of the site, and it is assumed to have been destroyed by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth in the 1230s, ending it's use. An alternative location for the stone castle is at Carreghofa Hall, where excavations in the 1870s revealed a square room with plastered walls of an unknown date.

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