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St Donats Castle

St Donat's Castle is thought to have originated in the twelfth century and has been continuously occupied until the present day. The castle stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Bristol Channel with the terraced gardens descending to the sea on the south side. The village was originally at the gate and round the church but it was moved away in the 19th century. The castle was commandeered for training of army officers during the war and then in 1960 was taken over by an international school called Atlantic College, which is still thriving there.

History of St Donats Castle

1298 ~ Peter de Stratelinges, a Swiss who already commands Neath Castle marries Joan, daughter of Thomas de Halweia of St Donats.

1300 ~ Following the death of Peter Stradling, it is Joan, his son and her second husband John de Pembridge, who complete the rebuilding of the stone castle, to replace the earlier timber castle. Edward Stradling is twice awarded the title of Sheriff of Glamorgan and his wife Gwenllian Berkerolles inherits Coity Castle.

1423 ~ Their grandson also named Edward, marries a daughter of King Henry VI's great uncle Cardinal Beaufort and becomes Chamberlain of South Wales. (more in the History section)

Access to the castle is restricted by apopointment only as it is still a working college.

Text by Fred Vincent