By using our site you agree to the use of cookies. We use them to increase the quality of this site especially for you, they help us understand your needs (help us collect statistics), help our partners deliver the right content displayed on our website. To learn more about the cookies please click here.


Morlais Castle

On a limestone ridge above the Taff gorge and town of Merthyr Tydfil are the traces of a large and strong 13th century castle, built on the site of an iron age hill fort. The road up from the town twists and turns until you get to an old disused quarry where you can park safely at the side of the road where a footpath will take you up to the summit and the castle. The climb is well worth it as the views are spectacular and site is far greater than you would expect. Although the remaining walls are reduced to rubble, the outline of the castle is easy to see to get a rough picture what it would have looked like in its prime. Commanding far reaching views stretch out in every direction so its clear why a castle was built here. An unexpected find is a vaulted basement beneath a long lost tower that can still be accessed beneath the ruins to serve as a lasting reminder how spectacular the castle once was.

History of Morlais Castle

1217 ~ Morlais is situated at the northern extreme of the Norman lordship of Glamorgan, under the control of the de Clare family.

1262 ~ The lordship passes to Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who initially supported Simon de Montford against King Henry III but later changes sides supporting Prince Edward and Future Edward I.

1265 ~ Gilbert de Clare and his army supporting King Edward I's royal campaign against de Montfort are victorious at the Battle of Evesham. (more in the History section)

Impressive deep rock cut ditches now only defend the castle from the golf course that runs alongside one side of the castle, with horses now its only inhabitants.

Text by Fred Vincent