Sennybridge may have originally been called Rhyd y Briw as in 1271 the
Welsh lord of this district, Einion Sais (Einion the English speaker),
was dating letters there. This may suggest a castle in the
district, though it might also possibly have been Cwm Camlais castle. It has further been suggested that this was Llywelyn ap Gruffydd's new castle above Brecon, destroyed by Prince Edward (d.1307) in 1265. If so the castle was probably built after December 1262 when Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
(d.1282) overran the old kingdom. However, it should be noted
that what little evidence there is on the matter might suggest that
this referred to Cwm Camlais castle and not
Sennybridge. Regardless of this, the castle of Sennybridge
probably perished with the collapse of the prince's principality in
South Wales during 1276. Certainly no further possible mention of
this castle can currently be found.
The fortress now consists of the remains of a D shaped tower about 26'
in external diameter with walls nearly 6' thick. These ruins
still stand to a height of about 20' at the end of a platform.
North of this, running east to west across the site and connected by
the remains of one wall to the tower, is what appears to have been a
curtain wall which makes a right angled turn to the south at its
eastern extreme. Beyond this to the east is a slight ditch before
the remains of a concrete Second World War pillbox which may occupy the
site of another tower. At the western end of the site is another
pillbox, this time brick built and with a slight forebuilding.
Again it may overlie the site of another tower. The northern
front of the castle is occupied by a modern bungalow and its
garden. In plan this castle, with a possible tower at either
extreme and a D shaped tower in between, parallels other Welsh designs
at Ewloe, Dinas Bran and Dolforwyn.
not join me at other Lost Welsh Castles next Spring?
Please see the information on tours at Scholarly
Paul Martin Remfry