The Marshalls of Pembroke and Chepstow, as heirs to the Clares, had a castle here that passed to William Valence via the Montchesney inheritance of his wife, a granddaughter of Earl William Marshall (d.1219).  The castle was captured by the O'Tooles in 1331, but was then retaken by Bishop Charnell.  It then passed to the MacMurroughs when it was taken by Lord Grey during the rebellion of 1536.  It was finally taken for the Crown by John Travers in 1550.

All that remains of the castle is the much ruined keep.  This was 90' long by 75' wide with walls 8' thick.  On the four corners stood round 35' diameter towers.  Of these little remains except for the south-east one.  This has a spiral stair set in a rectangular turret in the north angle which rises the full 4 storeys.  On the third floor is a fine vaulted chapel with trefoil cedilla and a piscina.  Half the south-west tower remains with battlements, but of the other two little is left, other than a well in one basement.  The buildings along the curtain wall are 3 storeys high and although equipped with loops at ground floor these are gradually replaced with normal windows as height is gained.  A fireplace in the east wall at first floor level is backed by a noticeably expanded flue on the other side.


Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry