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Kidwelly Castle

We all get our moments. But if you want a truly medieval moment, catch a glimpse of Kidwelly shrouded in early morning mist. Spine-tingling stuff. So complete and well-preserved it’s a match for any of the great castles of Wales.

The earliest castle on the site was Norman and made of earth and timber. The town itself is equally ancient, established around 1115 AD. By the time the 13th century had come along the castle had been rebuilt in stone, following the half-moon shape taken by the Normans. The Chaworth family built the compact but powerful inner ward and the castle was later modified by the earls (eventually dukes) of Lancaster.

Kidwelly benefited from the latest thinking in castle design. It had a concentric design with one circuit of defensive walls set within another to allow the castle to be held even if the outer wall should fall. The great gatehouse was begun late in the 14th century but it wasn’t completed until 1422, thanks in part to Owain Glyndŵr’s efforts to stop it going up in the first place.

Just outside the gatehouse stands a memorial to Princess Gwenllian who died in battle in 1136 not far from Kidwelly fighting the lord of the castle, Maurice de Londres, to save Deheubarth – south-west Wales - from Norman invaders.

  • KidwellyCastle@wales.gsi.gov.uk 
  • A toilet is available for users with a disability and limited mobility
  • Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
  • Dogs on leads welcome
  • No smoking
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Castell Cydweli 

Mae Cydweli dan orchudd niwl y bore yn olygfa ysblennydd o’r canol oesoedd. Mor gyflawn ac wedi goroesi mor dda – cystal ag unrhyw un o’r cestyll mawr yng Nghymru.

Castell Normanaidd wedi’i wneud o bridd a phren oedd y castell cynharaf ar y safle. Mae’r dref ei hun yr un mor hynafol – fe’i sefydlwyd tua 1115 OC. Erbyn y 13eg ganrif, roedd y castell wedi’i ail-adeiladu mewn carreg, gan ddilyn y siâp hanner lleuad a ddefnyddiwyd gan y Normaniaid. Adeiladwyd y ward fewnol fach ond nerthol gan deulu Chaworth a chafodd y castell ei addasu’n ddiweddarach gan ieirll (dugiaid yn ddiweddarach) Caerhirfryn.

Manteisiodd Cydweli ar y syniadau diweddaraf ym maes cynllunio cestyll. Roedd iddo gynllun consentrig gydag un gylched o furiau amddiffynnol o fewn un arall a oedd yn caniatáu iddynt ddal eu gafael ar y castell hyd yn oed pe bai’r mur allanol yn disgyn. Dechreuwyd ar y gwaith o adeiladu’r porthdy mawr yn y 14eg ganrif ond ni chafodd ei gwblhau tan 1422, diolch yn rhannol i ymdrechion Owain Glyndŵr i rwystro’r gwaith o’i adeiladu yn y lle cyntaf.

Ychydig y tu allan i'r porthdy saif cofeb i’r Dywysoges Gwenllian a fu farw ar faes y gad yn 1136 ger Cydweli wrth ymladd arglwydd y castell, Maurice de Londres, er mwyn achub Deheubarth - de-orllewin Cymru - rhag goresgynwyr Normanaidd. Gallwch gael rhagor o wybodaeth am y Dywysoges Gwenllian yn ein casgliad o straeon Arwyr ac Arwresau Cymru.

  • KidwellyCastle@cymru.gsi.gov.uk 
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E-mail: KidwellyCastle@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Website: http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/kidwellycastle/?lang=cy

Address / Location:
Castle Rd, Kidwelly SA17 5BQ

Please Note:
While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information available on this page, Kidwelly Town Council assumes no liability or responsibility for the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of any of the information.

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Kidwelly Town Council
Hillfield Villas
Kidwelly
Carmarthenshire
SA17 4UL

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