I love exploring castles. Mostly I think what I love most is the history behind the castle walls. It’s as thrilling than any book I could read and Swansea Castle is one of them. I hope you enjoy.
Swansea Castle was built by the Normans just 40 years after William the Conqueror’s famous victory over King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
After various other unsuccessful attacks the castle fell in 1217 but was restored to the English in 1220 as part of the settlement between Llywelyn ap Iorwerth and Henry III of England. Immediately after this the inner castle was probably walled in stone with at least one tower.
Swansea Castle, with its turrets, arrow openings and intricate stonework has survived numerous attacks from Welsh rebels and even the German Luftwaffe.
The visible remains consist of the north and south blocks, probably the work of William de Braose III, connected by a short stretch of much-altered curtain wall. The curtain wall originally continued up Castle Bailey Street on the west, and west from the north block to enclose a roughly rectangular area, with an entrance on the west side.
The well-preserved south block, which occupied most of the south side of the castle, is the most spectacular part, with its picturesque arcaded parapet on top of the outside walls.
The small rectangular tower to the ed into a debtor’s prison. It had probably been used as a prison for a long time before, and still has grim air.
Other usable parts of the castle had very heterogeneous uses at the beginning of the 19th century – as a town hall, poor-house, a new market house, store cellars, a blacksmith’s and other shops, a Roman Catholic chapel (in the hall) and a dovecote.