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Oystermouth Castle

Visited April 2019

Location Oystermouth, nr. Swansea
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No 
Parking Limited- on street
Facilities Gift Shop, Toilets
Map

 

This is a lovely 12th-14th century castle situated  in Oystermouth on the Gower Peninsular in South Wales. The setting in a public park with views across the bay make this a great place to visit for a day trip.

 


 

 


Review

 

It is by far the best preserved of the Gower castles, due to it having been the main residence of the Lords of Gower. Built originally by William de Londres of Ogmore Castle in the 12th century, it grew in importance and was increased in size with each century that passed, with the largest period of expansion being in the late 13th century. This included the construction of the gatehouse, the chapel block and the curtain wall, the latter having intact wall walks for the visitor to enjoy.

 

The gatehouse has recesses for two round towers each side, which were either not built at all or built and then removed. This accounts for its slightly odd shape.

 


 

 


 

The most notorious of all the castle owners was the de Braose family, who were described as ' a licentious clan of freebooters who appear to have been so habituated to duplicity and chicanery as to render it impossible to be straightforward and honest in their dealings with their neighbours'   (WH Jones, Swansea historian) The final line of the family married into the de Mowbray family, but they lost the castle due to a legal decision against them. Given the rather unflattering description of the family, that may have been a relief to many in the area.

 


 

 


 

These days the castle is an enjoyable visitor attraction, with no hint of its past as the property of a duplicitous local family. The site is owned by the local council, who keep it in very good order. On the day we went the grass had been neatly trimmed and the site was spick-and-span all over. The staff were friendly and helpful and the entrance fee was very reasonable.

 

Children may well enjoy the castle wall walks, but also the chance to take photos in the medieval cut-outs! In addition there are many small rooms and hidden passageways to explore, it is all very exciting for kids to discover. Outside of the castle walls is a large area of green space for running around, picnics etc and behind the castle is a community orchard and woodland area so plenty of space for kids to let off steam.

 

There are many facilities in Oystermouth itself, which is a pleasant seaside town. It is a short journey from Swansea so is very easy to get to by car or public transport.

 

 

 


 

 


 

More info:  Oystermouth Castle

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