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Newcastle Castle

Newcastle Castle in Bridgend took us quite a while to find, but eventually we discovered its location. With the exception of the decorative entrance, the castle has few features of interest once inside.

History of Newcastle Castle

1080's ~ Although King William I has briefly advanced into South Wales where he builds Cardiff Castle, there is no centrally co-ordinated Norman campaign to conquer all or part of the Principality. Instead Norman Barons are encouraged to seize land and forge autonomous Lordships providing they take the responsibility for securing and suppressing the area. These Marcher Lords are nominally subject to the King of England but are effectively defacto rulers in their conquered lands. One such Lord was Robert Fitzhamon, Baron of Gloucester who is encouraged by William II to attack the Welsh Kingdom of Morgannwg in South Wales.

1089 ~ Supported by twelve Knights and their retinues, Robert advances from Gloucester, and builds himself Newport Castle. He then advances west into the Vale of Glamorgan where he establishes his administrative centre at Cardiff.

1106 ~ The Norman's advance further west as far west as the River Ogmore. This natural barrier becomes a temporary frontier between the native Welsh and the Normans but, more importantly, it offers easy access from the Sea. Accordingly the Normans build three major fortifications along its length. Coity Castle is raised by Payn de Turberville. Ogmore Castle by William de Londres. Robert Fitzhamon build a ‘new castle’ at Bridgend, which is built to control a key crossing point on the river (more in the History section)

Text by Fred Vincnet