Brecon Castle

The castle had been commenced by Bernard Neufmarché soon before 17 April 1093 when King Rhys ap Tewdwr of Deheubarth was killed at the battle of Brecon.  From the first the castle seems to have incorporated a town defence.  After Neufmarché fell from favour the castle passed to the Gloucester family who soon became earls of Hereford.  From them the castle and barony passed to the hands of the Braose family in the same manner as Abergavenny.

The castle may have been attacked in 1168 by Rhys ap Gruffydd and was occupied by royal forces in 1208 after the failed Braose rebellion.  In 1215 the two remaining Braose brothers retook the castle and in 1217 the townsmen and Braose garrison successfully bought off Llywelyn Fawr.  After the death of William Braose, Llywelyn returned in 1231 and 1233, but on neither occasion succeeded in penetrating the castle defences.

In early 1263 the castle was transferred to the keeping of Roger Mortimer of WigmoreMortimer seems to have immediately suffered problems of loyalty with the men of Brecon who probably resented the loss of their Bohun lord.  As a consequence of this it would seem that Roger wrote to the king concerning Brecon castle and the intransigence of the inhabitants.  A little time later Roger was wounded in battle and his garrison 'shamefully surrendered' to Llywelyn about the end of May.  An apparently successful attempt was made on the castle by the Lord Edward in June/July 1265 when Llywelyn's castle beyond Brecon fell, though the castle changed hands yet again soon after.  The castle was garrisoned by Llywelyn's supporters when Mortimer tried to retake it in 1266, but was decisively defeated outside the town on 15 May.  Prince Llywelyn then spent some considerable effort on ensuring the safety of the castle and it may have changed hands 3 times in 1273, with Humphrey Bohun Junior finally obtaining control.  The castle may have been attacked in 1295 and was a mustering point for the rebels of 1321, falling undefended to royalist forces soon afterwards.  In 1403 a siege of the castle was broken by the sheriff of Hereford and in 1483 the castle saw itself as the muster point for yet another abortive rebellion.  Soon afterwards it was totally abandoned.

Extracted from the Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press, ISBN 1-873827-80-6) [1998], which includes Brecon Castle, Aberyscir Castle, Alexanderstone Castle, Castle Madog, Cilwhybert Castle, Clawdd British, Cwm Camlais Castle, Llanddew Castle, Llandefaelog-Fach Castle, Llanigon Castle, Llanthomas Castle, Pencelli Castle, Pont Estyll Castle, Sennybridge Castle, Trecastle, Ty'n-y-Caeau Castle, Vaynor Castle, Ystradfellte Castle, Castell Coch, Bronllys Castle, Aberllynfi Castle, Blaenllyfni Castle, Crickhowell Castle, Garn y Castell, Hen Castell, Maescelyn Castle, Scethrog Tower, Talgarth Tower, Tredustan Castle, Trefecca Castle, Tretower Castle, Twmpan Castle, Builth Wells Castle, Caer Beris Castle, Caerau Castle, Treflis Castle, Llanafan-fawr Castle, Llysdinam Castle, Forest Twdin, Castell Dinas, Crickardarn Castle, Waun Gunllwch and Llyswen.

Now out of stock.  A new version is planned to follow.


Copyright©2010 Paul Martin Remfry

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