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Principal Contributors
to the
Castles of Wales Website


The Castles of Wales web site is grateful for those individuals (academics and hobbyists alike) who have seen fit, for one reason or another, to lend their various talents to our efforts here. Although many have contributed bits and pieces to our project, I feel that certain individuals deserve special recognition. Below you will find a list of major contributors to the site, along with a bit of biographical information for each contributor. There are also links to dedicated pages for some individuals that provide a complete listing of contributions to our project. Needless to say, all of these people have my profound gratitude for their special and unique contributions to the Castles of Wales web site. Diolch yn Fawr!

Jeffrey L. Thomas


Lise Hull

In the beginning there was only one - only one person willing to put their reputation on the line by contributing to a new, unproven project called The Castles of Wales web site. That person was Lise Hull, owner of the Castles of Britain web site. Her essays and overall support for this project in its early days were instrumental in the site's success, and many of her essays and articles found here remain among the site's most popular pages. An avid traveler, Lise Hull is a freelance writer, with a Masters Degree in Historic Preservation. She lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales for three years, visited over 160 castles, traveled over 50,000 miles throughout Britain, and has studied castles and medieval Britain for thirteen years. She often returns to Great Britain for research.

Follow this link to learn more about Mrs Hull and the Castles of Britain web site.


John Northall

Born in Bangor, north Wales, John Northall interest in ancient monuments was stirred at the age of 10 by a teacher who ran field trips to local historical sites. He began a serious study of the ancient monuments of Wales after his marriage at age 24, and over the years has amassed a large collection of guidebooks historical texts, and photographs, particularly for the castles of Wales. Mr Northall has a particular interest in the castles of the Welsh princes with their fascinating history and design, and he has devoted a great deal time to the study of these and other lesser known Welsh castles. His most notable contributions to the Castles of Wales web site are for Degannwy Castle, and the lesser known castles of Pen-y-Castell, Bryn Castell, and Pen-y-Mwd. We look forward to Mr Northall's continued contributions to this project.

Follow this link to learn more about Mr Northall's contributions to this project.


Paul M. Remfry

Mr. Remfry (M. Phil.) is the author of a many castle guidebooks and historical surveys focusing on castles found along the Welsh Marches and the conflicts that arose between Marcher Lords and native Welsh rulers. Mr Remfry has also been a prolific contributor to this project, providing both a variety of insightful essays along with many photographs of various castles. His help has resulted in more visitors to the site being made aware of some of the lesser known castles of Wales, those not necessarily familiar to the typical historian or enthusiast. Mr Remfry is also something of a revisionist in several of his approaches to theories regarding medieval castles and history, and that's just fine with us. We count ourselves very fortunate indeed to have such a forward-thinking person as a contributor to this web site.

Follow this link for more information about Mr Remfry, and to view a listing of his his published titles and contributions to this project, and please select this link to visit Mr Remfry's own award-winning web site.


Philip Davis

Mr. Davis is the creator of "The Gatehouse" website, a comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval fortifications and castles of England and Wales, undoubtedly the most complete and accurate accounting of British castles available on the Internet. Mr. Davis has contributed essays and photographs for several castles here at the Castles of Wales website and was instrumental in assisting with the creation of my own castle database.

Follow this link to visit The Gatehouse" website.


Daniel Mersey

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Daniel Mersey as contributing editor to the Castles of Wales web site. Mr. Mersey is the author of several books of interest to Arthurian readers, and his latest title, which is due out in October, recommends your website in my list of the best Arthur-related Internet sites. 

His current published titles include:

  • Arthur: King of the Britons (Summersdale, 2004): From Celtic Hero to Cinema Icon
  • Legendary Warriors (Chrysalis, 2002): Arthur, Beowulf, William Wallace, and more
  • Glutter of Ravens (Outpost, 1998): Warfare in the Age of Arthur AD400-700
Mr Mersy also has a BA degree in Archaeology from the University of York and participated in the important CADW excavations at Dolforwyn Castle. His report discusses the progress of the excavations and includes news about the most recent and exciting discoveries at the site. Daniel is also the author of many articles concerning ancient and medieval military history and articles covering other aspects of archaeology and history.

Follow this link for more information about Mr Mersey and to view a listing of his contributions to this project.


Richard Williams

The Castles of Wales is honored to have been associated with the late Richard Williams. Although a resident of the English Midlands for more than 30 years, Richard was a native of Bangor, Wales and was Welsh-speaking. He was a free-lance lecturer and writer, specialising in the Medieval Welsh History of 1150 to 1450. His teaching included courses for the Workers' Educational Association (Owian Glyndwr) and the Department of Continuing Education, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (The Two Llywelyns). His portfolio of lectures included such titles as Sir Edmund Mortimer - Traitor or Pragmatist, Owain Glyndwr, The Glyndwr Way, Owain Glyndwr - the Midlands Connection, The Two Llywelyns, and The Medieval Wedding. Mr Williams first came to the attention of our visitors with his well-written essay on Glyndwr's ancestral home at Sycharth.

Follow this link to learn more about Richard's contributions to this project.


Catherine Armstrong

Catherine Armstrong has Master's degree in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her field is medieval English history. Her specific field is William Marshal, his fiefs and "familiares". Her concentration is on the lands and people bound to Marshal by blood and marriage, by feudal tenure, and by "affinity". We are grateful for Catherine's contributions to the site, which include her popular essays on William Marshal and Richard fitzGilbert de Clare, known to history as "Strongbow". She can be reached via e-mail at: seneschal@peoplepc.com.

Follow this link for more information about Ms. Armstrong's contributions to this project.


Irma Hale

Irma Hale is an avid photographer and a frequent visitor to Wales. She has contributed many fine photographs to the Castles of Wales web site, including photos for some of the lesser-known Welsh castles, as well as a series of photographs for the whimsical gargoyles found at Raglan Castle. Irma began studying photography in 1990 and has done extensive photography in Wales, New Zealand, and Australia. Her most recent photographic project was in Antarctica working as science support for the United States Antarctic Program.

Follow this link to learn more about Ms Hale and her contributions to this project.


John Cotton

Mr Cotton is an amateur historian who for decades has undertaken his own personal surveys of Welsh castles, collecting a great deal of information, photographs and drawings in the process. He has supplied this project with both valuable information and dozens of photographs, some of which were the catalyst behind the creation our popular section titled "The Castles of Wales in Art".


Adrian Pettifer

The Castles of Wales web site is pleased to welcome Adrian Pettifer as a contributing editor. Mr. Pettifer has a degree in Ancient and Medieval History from the University of Birmingham, where he specialised mainly in Greeks and Romans, though he "remains blissfully ignorant of their languages". He has long been a keen visitor of historic monuments, both in his native Britain and to a lesser extent in Europe. He concentrates primarily on castles, abbeys, churches and ancient sites. His visits have so far culminated in two books, English Castles (1995) and Welsh Castles (2000), both published by Boydell and Brewer. They are gazetteers intended to provide a concise history and description of every masonry castle and the more substantial earthworks. He visited his first Welsh castles during a wet childhood holiday in Prestatyn. He has returned many times and has generally found the weather more favourable! He now lives in Northumberland.

Follow this link to learn more about Mr Pettifer's contributions to this project.


Jan Kohl

Jan Kohl has been sending pictures to The Castles of Wales website for many years. He was enamored with castles from a very early age, but living in the US he didn't get much of a chance to see any. Finally the USAF gave him that chance while serving with the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing, and he's been an avid castle photographer ever since. Currently he has family living in Wales, so it makes his job even easier! Jan hosts many of his photographs on his website, Castle Graphics: castlegraphics.com. He is also the founder of Yahoo's Medieval Castles discussion group, a small but dedicated group of castle enthusiasts from all over the world.


Sian Beidas

Mrs. Beidas has donated many hours of her own time translating pages of the Castles of Wales web site from English into Welsh. Her important efforts give people the opportunity to read certain pages and essays in the native language of Wales. It's something people have asked for from the beginning and continue to ask for today. As always, more translations are planned for the future.

Follow this link for a list of pages at the web site available in Welsh along with other Welsh language resources.


Kenneth W. Lightfoot

Mr. Lightfoot was the principal director of excavations at Rumney Castle in southern Wales for the two archaeological digs that took place in 1978 and 1980-81. He also is the author of the subsequent excavation report produced for the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. The Rumney Castle page at the Castles of Wales web site has been created using portions of Mr Lightfoot's report, as has an additional linked page discussing the Norman invasion of south Wales. His full report on these important excavations can be found in Medieval Archaeology, vol. XXXVI 1992.


Richard Hartnup

Mr Hartnup comes to us from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He has spent a considerable amount of time personally surveying and studying the history of Ceredegion, an ancient region of western Wales. Among Mr Hartnup's contributions to this project are essays on the lesser-known castles of Gwallter and Dinerth.


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Copyright © 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas