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Llantrisant Castle

Llantrisant, Glamorgan, south Wales

From the Cadw guidebook for Glamorgan & Gwent

A dark, ivy-covered ruined tower is all that is left of one of the more important 13th-century castles of Glamorgan. It was built in about 1250 by Richard de Clare, lord of Glamorgan, to hold this hill district of Meisgyn which he had just wrestled from its Welsh overlords. The castle's strategic and commanding position, guarding the important route from the upland to the lowland zone, is very apparent.

The castle stands on a flat-topped blunt spur on the edge of a steep drop to the south. Parts of the spur's stone revetment are still visible, and ditches separate it from the rest of the ridgetop on the east and west sides. The north side of a circular tower, once called the Raven, is the main upstanding stonework of the castle. Details of a doorway half-way up it point to a mid-13th century date, and also give an idea of the height of the curtain wall, the wall-walk of which was originally reached from this doorway. The curtain wall would have skirted the spur, but very little of it survives. On the south-west flank there is a much-overgrown base of a half-round projecting tower.

The open green to the north of the castle is the probable site of the bailey, but no traces of earthwork or masonry defences survive. The church to the west was originally an aisled Norman church before 19th-century rebuilding.


Photograph below copyright 2009 by Bill Damick


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Copyright 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas