Wales - North Wales - Flintshire - Ewloe Castle

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Ewloe Castle was a native Welsh stronghold built by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd following his seizure of much of modern Flintshire from the English Crown in 1257. Ewloe was the location of the family's manor, and it is possible that the castle occupies a site fortified earlier by Owain Gwynedd or Llywelyn ab Iorwerth with an earth-and-timber stronghold.

Ewloe occupies a narrow ridge below the lip of the Wepre Brook valley and was constructed of local yellow sandstone, possibly in two phases; the first consisting of a Welsh Tower and oval stone walls, then followed by the addition of a lower court with a further stone curtain and western tower. There is no obvious access between the two courts and it is possible that they operated separately, each accommodating a single princely entourage.

Following the succession of Edward I in 1272 Llywelyn failed to answer five summonses to do homage to the new king, who declared his intention to go to war against the proclaimed rebel. Within a year the Prince of Wales had been defeated; the castle fell to the English and was never to be used again as a fortified stronghold. (Coflein–K. Steele, RCAHMW, 4 November 2008)

Stone castle sited on tongue of land between two streams. Possibly built over earthen castle the only evidence for which is the unusual plan. Built or rebuilt in early 13th century. Not militarily significant after 1277. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Situated in a wood overlooking the Wepre Brook.

History: A native Welsh castle, small in scale, though occupying a commanding site at the confluence of 2 streams and with a steep drop to the N. The "Welsh Tower" is early C13 and may be the work of LLewellyn ab Iorweth (The Great). The remaining buildings post-date the Welsh recapture of the area from the English in the late 1250s, and were probably built by Llewellyn ap Gruffydd (The Last)

Now largely ruinous.

Description: The castle is overlooked by higher ground to the S and this side is therefore the focus of the defences. Large ditches to this and the E sides. The castle is in 2 sections, with a large D-shaped keep known as the "Welsh Tower" in a walled upper ward at the E. This was of 2 floors plus basement. One first-floor lancet, originally lighting the hall survives to the S. The lower ward is dominated by a 2-storey circular tower to the W, and the whole is encircled by the remains of a curtain wall, originally about 15ft high. Within this there were entrances to both wards from the N. At the N/E corner a bridge originally gave access over the eathworks, the evidence for which is still visible.

An important indigenous castle from the period of the Welsh conquest by the English. (Listed Building Report)

A two storeyed "D" shaped tower, c.16m E-W by 11m, is set within an irregular enclosure, c.28-31m in diameter, defined by scarping and revetting a natural knoll. On the W a second, lower enclosure abutts, having a circular tower, c.13m in diameter, at its W end. The work is deeply ditched on the S, with a substantial counterscarp, the ground falling away on the N. The site is set within a wooded dingle. A castle built c.1257 and thought to have been disused after 1277. Probably built by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.

Eggelawe 1212 (Pipe). 1213 (RLP I, 100a). Identificated by Mrs. Armitage and accepted as such by R.Allen Brown (no. 113), but the references to Eggelawe associate it with Oswestry, Carrehofa, Chirk, and Shrawardine; and there is no evidence for any work of this period at Ewloe. The most probable identification is Belan Bank, which lies close to the farm Edgerley. It is, however, just within Kinnerley parish, and is mentioned as Kinardsley in 1223. (Hogg and King, 1963, p. 123) The pipe roll entry for pickaxes and provisions (picoisiis et warnistura) may suggest rock cut ditches or quarrying rather than building work. Ditches, per se, are very difficult to date. - comments by Philip Davis