Published Booklets on Gwent Castles

Skenfrith Castle and the families of Fitz Osbern, Ballon, Fitz Count, Burgh, Braose and Plantagenet of Grosmont
(ISBN 1-899376-70-4) [2008]

It still cannot be said with certainty when Skenfrith castle was begun, although it is possible that a castle was started in the district as early as the 1070's or as late as the 1150's. The current masonry castle was commenced by Ralph Grosmont in the 1180's after the battle of Dingestow and completed by Hubert Burgh between 1219 and 1223. Excavated mostly in the 1950's Skenfrith boasts five D-shaped towers and a circular keep with a projecting stair buttress. Despite repeated assertions, excavation has shown that the keep does not sit upon a motte. It stands ten feet deep in the gravel infill brought into the castle as flooding proved itself a repeated problem. Outside the castle traces can still be seen of the original paved ditch of the great wet moat. Inside is an original set of iron bars dating from the 1220's still in situ in a hall window!

Consists of 181 pages of A4 with 129 photographs and plans.  Consists of 164 pages of A4 with 129 photographs and plans.  Available for £34.95

Order through the Skenfrith Link.

Grosmont Castle, and the families of Fitz Osbern, Ballon, Fitz Count, Burgh, Braose and Plantagent of Grosmont (ISBN 1-899376-56-9) [2008]

Grosmont Castle was the head of the twelfth century Honour of Grosmont. Today the castle remains emphasize that civil role. The oldest part of the fortress is the great hall, probably built within 40 years either side of 1100. This building still stands two stories high and has many features of comfort within its ruins. Next to the hall are the more military remains built by Hubert Burgh in the period 1224 to 1226 and which saw action in 1233. The castle was subsequently upgraded from fortress to home by Edmund of Lancaster and his son Henry, probably in the period 1274 to 1294. Part of this reconstruction included the building of the great chimney of which Grosmont is justifiably famous. The effigy of a twelfth century knight remains within the church. Perhaps he was the engineer Ralph Grosmont, so strongly entwined with the history of all three castles.

The new book consists of 203 A4 pages with 168 illustrations and photographs.

Available for £34.95

Order through the Grosmont link.

White Castle, 1066 to 1438 (ISBN 1-899376-42-9) [2000]

White Castle is undoubtedly the most impressive of the three castles of the Trilateral. It may also be the oldest and was always the fortress of the barony of Grosmont. It was built on a hill with magnificent views to north, south and west and as such was clearly a military outpost for the barony. The castle is surrounded by formidable wet moats which alone could have laughed any siege to scorn, not that one was ever attempted! Clearly seen within the current remains are the old square keep of the eleventh or twelfth century, demolished early in the Middle Ages. The great towering curtain walls of Ralph Grosmont in the 1180's still stand mostly intact. Bolstering them are the great D-shaped towers, probably built by Earl Hubert Burgh of Kent in two building campaigns between 1228 and 1232 and 1234 and 1239. Included in his works was a great twin-towered gatehouse, with many early and unusual features. Protecting this new entrance was a powerful outer enclosure probably also added by Earl Hubert in the late 1230's. Included is a description of pastoral life at the castle during 1256 in 310 A4 pages.

Available for £39.95

Order through the White Castle link.

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