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Newcastle Emlyn Castle

Newcastle Emlyn castle can be found in the market town that still bears its name. You can get to the castle quite easily with a short walk from the small road that leads to it. The castle is surrounded by river on three sides, set high upon its hill, which makes this such an obvious place to build a castle which its natural defences and man made earth works on the forth side ahead of the gatehouse.

History of Newcastle Emlyn Castle

1240 ~ Maredudd ap Rhys builds himself a stone castle, being one of very few built be the Welsh in stone, replacing an existing timber and earth castle. The expanding and thriving settlement takes the name of Trecastell. Emlyn passes to Meredith's son, Rhys ap Maredudd, who successfully avoids becoming embroiled in the Wars of Welsh Independence. Accordingly he was rewarded by King Edward I but the English King's refusal to grant him wider estates prompts the relationship to break down.

1287 ~ Rhys rebels during which Newcastle Emlyn is attacked by Roger Mortimer, Earl of March. Rhys' men recaptured the castle.

1288 ~ The castle is again besieged and falls to Robert Tiptoft, Justiciar of South Wales after 23 days. Rhys ap Maredudd flees. Emlyn and all of Rhys's possessions are confiscated by the Crown.

1291 ~ Rhys is captured and executed the following year. (more in the History section)

Castle todday

The castle is now very ruined with the gatehouse its main remaining feature, still showing the large window modifications that pre-date its last action during the civil war, as this fortress turned comfortable home, is for the last time placed on a war footing, leading to its distruction.

Text by Fred Vincent