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Llangibby Motte & Castle

Llangibby, Monmouthshire, southeast Wales
ST 364 974 & ST 370 974

Map link for Llangibby Castle

Photographs copyright © 2002 by Laurie Oliver

Above: view of a surviving tower at Llangibby II

No stone buildings now remain visible on the motte and bailey site near Castle farm but the buildings referred to in 1262 may have stood there. Further masonry construction in 1286 probably refers to the present ruin on the tree-clad hill above. It is thought to have been still incomplete when Gilbert de Clare V was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. However, the Williamís family, who purchased the estate from the Crown in 1554 and erected a new house, had a garrison of 60 in the decayed castle in 1648 and its state may be the result of some slighting by Parliament.

Below: view across the summit of the early motte castle at Llangibby I

The roughly rectangular bailey 150m long by 80m wide is one of the largest single-enclosure castles in Britain. Only slight footings remain of a twin round towered gatehouse and a D-shaped tower on the south side plus two eastern towers, and not much more of the curtains which joined them, but the 2m thick north curtain with one D-shaped tower is intact, and there are two large structures of great interest at the west corners. That on the SW is a huge gatehouse with long U-shaped towers flanking a passageway closed formerly by portcullises and sets of doors. There are two round stair turrets on the east corners and along each side is a semi-circular latrine latrine turret. Two of the main rooms set either side of the passageway are nearly intact but nothing remains of the upper levels if indeed they were ever built. The NW corner of the bailey is occupied by a rectangular tower house 10.4m wide with round turrets at the east corners, that on the south having a spiral stair, and that on the north containing a hexagonal room formerly vaulted. The round west end shows signs of having been blown up in 1648. It is 12m in diameter.

Mike Salter, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Folly Publications, 1991.

Below: additional photographs of Llangibby II

 


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Copyright © 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas