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Weobley Castle

Weobley Castle (Wikimedia)
Weobley Castle was originally built as a fortified manor house, in the same way that Oystermouth Castle was, but soon needed better defences. It was built by the powerful de la Bere family in the early 14th century, and they continued to own it until the 15th century.

The work was begun by David de la Bere, who was lord there from 1304 to 1327. There was a grand hall, two towers and a section of curtain wall. Before the work was finished however, work began on defensive structures, with a gatehouse and enclosing curtain wall. A solar and chapel were also built.

The castle was badly damaged in the Owain Glyndwr rebellion of the early 15th century. Then Sir Rhys ap Thomas gained possession of Weobley in return for his support of Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He repaired it and added a two-storey porch block, which created a more stately entrance.

He furnished it lavishly and it was a desirable residence for high society owners over the centuries, including the Herberts and the Mansels (who also owned nearby Oxwich Castle in south Gower). However, when Rhys’s grandson was executed for treason during the rule of Henry VIII, Weobley was returned to the Crown.

In the 16th century the porch block was modified for domestic use when the castle had degenerated into a tenant farmhouse. It is now cared for by Cadw: Welsh Heritage. The solar now houses an exhibition entitled, Weobley: A Gower Castle and the Peninsula through the Ages. It tells the story of Weobley, set against the colourful background of the many ancient historic sites on the Gower Peninsula.

Many Welsh castles have seen development in the surrounding land over the centuries, but Weobley is rare in that it enjoys the same unspoilt view over the north Gower marshlands and mudflats that it’s original owners probably did.(
The castle is open from April to October, 9.30am to 6pm daily. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing. Admission is only £2.80 for adults and there are concessions.

For more information and pictures visit the Castle Wales and CADW websites.