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Llanblethian Castle

Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales

Map link for Llanblethian Castle

Photographs copyright © by Irma Hale

Above: The gatehouse at Llanblethian Castle.

The hillfort of Caer Dynnaf seems to have been used by the Normans for a while and contains a ruined rectangular building with walls 1.2m thick. The existing site must have been in use by 1200 and it has the stump of a typical Norman rectangular keep, but the surrounding walls and gateway are thought to have been begun by Gilbert V de Clare in c1307 and left incomplete at his death in 1314. The south front was the best defended side of the large quadrangular bailey 58m long by 60m wide at the north end where the ground falls away to a stream. There are ruins of a semi-octagonal tower at the southeast corner and there are traces of a smaller similar tower at the southwest corner. Between the two is the ivy-clad gatehouse, flanked by towers which are polygonal to the field, and formerly closed with two portcullises and sets of doors. There are several cross-shaped arrow loops with oilets set in rectangular embrasures. At the back of the east tower is a passageway to a spiral stair in the northeast corner. This led to a suite of comfortable square rooms, now much ruined. Just 10m south of the gatehouse are remains of a keep. Much of it has fallen or is covered with rubble but a staircase connecting the two lower levels remains in the east wall. Not much remains of the bailey walls on the east, north and south.


Additional photographs of the Llanblethian Castle

Below (4): several different views of the gatehouse at Llanblethian Castle





Upper level of the gatehouse


Remains of the ruined keep


Looking west towards the Inner Bailey


Looking across the remains of the Keep toward the inside of the Gatehouse


View of the south side of the gatehouse with an interesting arrowloop.


View Irma Hale's other contributions to the Castles of Wales web site

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Copyright © 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas