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Kidwelly Castle

Kidwelly Castle stands at the head of the wide estuary of the River Gwendraeth overlooking a flat expanse of marsh, at the limit of tidal water. Situated on a prominent ridge, it could be supplied by sea, and formed part of a chain of new castles controlling a major coastal route. Together with Llanstephan Castle on the west of the Towy estuary, Kidwelly flanked the important town of Carmarthen. Like most castles of its day, Kidwelly was originally built of earth and timber and was taken and re-taken several times before Edward I pacified south-west Wales in the late thirteenth century, when it was eventually re-built in stone. Certainly one of the finest castles in all of South Wales.

History of Kidwelly Castle

1106 - Henry I's powerful justiciar, the powerful Bishop Roger of Salisbury, builds himself a timber castle and town at Kidwelly.

1136 - Maurice de Londres, whose father had founded Ogmore Castle, defeats and kills Gwenllian, wife of Gruffudd ap Rhys, lord of the principality of Deheubarth, in a battle outside Kidwelly.

1139 - The downfall of Bishop Roger of Salisbury see's Kidwelly Castle fall into the hands of Maurice de Londres. (more in the History section)

Text by Fred Vincent