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Brecon Castle

Visited August 2014

Location Brecon, Powys
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes
Facilities Hotel


Brecon is a pretty town in Powys, Wales. Named after an ancient ruler called Brychan (whose daughter Tudful was martyred nearby, hence the town of Merthyr Tydfil in her memory) it was built on a roman crossroads, so was an important point on the route across Wales. However, the town actually built up around the castle, which is Norman in origin.






The Norman Lord Bernard de Neufmarche, who was a brother of William the Conqueror, built the castle on this strategic point, as a base to control the native welsh people. Originally a motte and bailey, it was later extended and improved, and a town grew up around, together with a Benedictine priory, on the site of the present  day cathedral. Eventually the Lordship of Brecon died out, with a little help from Henry VIII who executed the final Lord, and the castle declined in importance.





The remains of the Norman castle were incorporated into a new hotel building in the early 1800. This was financed by the Morgan family of Tredegar, descendants of Capt. Henry Morgan, the famous buccaneer/privateer. The hotel was a success, not least because of its situation on the major routes across Wales. It did roaring business as a convenient stop for coaches on the way to London or Bristol.


Although there is not much of the original castle left anymore (Most of the Hotel is in the Victorian house built onto the ruins) the remains of the great hall are the main bulk of the ruins. The castle can be viewed either from the back, across the river, or if you fancy treating yourself, from the terrace of the Hotel, which serves food to non-residents in its terrace bar.


If you are heading to Brecon, consider also visiting the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, of special interest to any fans of the film Zulu, as the 24th regiment of the Welsh Borderers was involved in the battle of Rorke's Drift.  It is well worth a couple of hours of your time if you are in the area. See 'Other Places of Interest' for web details.





More info: Brecon Castle

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