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Kenfig Castle

Kenfig Castle is one of the best discoveries of all the hundreds of castles we have visited across the country. The castle is partially buried under the huge expanse of rolling sand dunes that stretch out in every direction, hidden beneath tangled undergrowth.

History of Kenfig Castle

1100 ~ The Normans led by Robert Fitzhamon invade Glamorgan. He splits Glamorgan into knights fees amongst those who give him military service. He keeps Cardiff for himself, but also Kenfig.

1140's ~ A timber motte and bailey castle is built at Kenfig during the reign of King Stephen to reflect its importance as a maritime trading town. As a consequence the Welsh see Kenfig as a threat and so contantly attack the castle and harass the trade and people of the town.

1167 ~ The castle is attacked and burnt by the Welsh. (more in the History section)

Castle today

Finding this castle you will need a map of the Kenfig sands. You can park off the road opposite the public footpaths that cross the sands. As you progress up and over the grassy sand dunes without any firm landmarks it can be easy to lose your way and the paths soon disappear underfoot. With the motorway far to the right of you, the sprawling Port Talbot steel works ahead, look out for the stub of the tower that sits upon a tangled grassy mound. If you come across the railway line as you head towards the steel works, work your way to your left, away from the motorway, and eventually you'll spot the stubby tower ruins. After you have visited the tower and work away from the tangled ruins, you will spot other sections of castle walls that appear from under the undergrowth, indicating there is still much that is hidden from view that still awaits excavation to reveal its secrets.

Text by Fred Vincent