castle is first mentioned in 1116 as Castell Arberth when it was burned
by Gruffydd ap Rhys (d.1137), although it is often claimed that this
refers to Templeton motte and bailey earthwork 2 miles further south.
The land if not a castle was burned in 1215. The Flemings
then rebuilt the castle, only to have it 'thrown to the ground' by
Llywelyn ab Iorwerth in 1220. After the battle of Cymaru on 2
June 1257 the castle was again destroyed by the Welsh. It was
obviously rebuilt because it apparently burned again in 1299. The
fortress was described in a full survey of 1539 and was still inhabited
as late as 1657.
The castle occupies a ridge end site with a round keep of some 43'
diameter and at least 3 stories occupying and blocking the highest
point of the ridge. As such it fits into the category of medium
sized keeps as are described under Llanstephan castle.
This tower had a large rectangular internal garderobe block
attached to its south side. Close to its west side was an
internal rectangular gatetower, possibly similar to that at Ogmore and Manorbier.
This lay beside a small round tower at the NW corner of the site.
At the south end of the castle were 2 round towers marking the SE
and SW corners, the SE tower containing a chapel at first floor level.
Such a layout is similar to that found at White Castle.
North of these were a hall block and centrally in the curtain
walls were D shaped E&W turrets. There was an outer ward
towards the town to the north.
not join me at other Lost Welsh Castles next Spring?
Please see the information on tours at Scholarly
Paul Martin Remfry