Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle
There are major building remains
|Alternative Names||Dynevor; Gueithtinevur; Dinefawr; Old Dynefwr; Dinevor; Dinewor
Dinefwr Castle is a ruined medieval castle in a dramatic and Romantic situation upon a high wooded ridge above the meandering Tywi. The castle is thought to have been founded in the later twelfth century by Rhys ap Gruffudd, the Lord Rhys, and became known as the traditional capital of Dyfed. The visible remains date from the thirteenth and earlier fourteenth century. It was still maintained in the earlier fifteenth century, but may have been replaced by Newton House (NPRN 17603), a little way to the north, as early as the later part of the century. By the later seventeenth century it had become a Picturesque attraction in Dinefwr Park (NPRN 266170) and the top of the great tower was taken down and replaced by a summerhouse. The castle ruins have now been consolidated for public view.
The castle consists of two enclosures defined by deep rock-hewn ditches cutting across the summit of the ridge. The inner enclosure has a high curtain wall and is approached by a lower walled barbican. The great round tower, some 12m across, is now a two storey stump crowned by the remains of the seventeenth century summerhouse. There are ruins of fine towered lodgings along the north-east curtain and there is a smaller round tower at the northern angle.
Two boroughs were associated with the castle. The upper town, thought to have been sited on the castle ridge, was first recorded in 1281. The lower town, Newton or Drenewydd, where Newton House now stands, is first mentioned in 1297. (Coflein–Rees & Caple CADW Guide to Dinefwr Castle & Dryslwyn Castle, revised edition (2007))
Set high on a rocky, wooded ridge above Afon Tywi with exceptional, picturesque views to the castle from S over the river and from the landscaped park to N. Extensive remains of a medieval castle first built by the Welsh princes in C13; partly remodelled by King Edward I with a gatehouse added on S and a rectanuglar tower on N. Late C15 additions by Sir Rhys ap Thomas
The masonry remains include an angular curtain wall, incorporating a circular tower to NW and a large round tower at SE angle, now surmounted by a C17(?)/C18 gazebo. Later additions include a rectangular hall facing N. Old Dynevor Castle became a major feature in the C18 landscaped park to Newton House (now Plas Dinefwr) situated approximately one kilometre to N. (Listed Building Report)
A motte and bailey castle may have been built prior to the construction of the stone castle of Dinefwr. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 881)
A castle is first mentioned at Dinefwr in 1151 when it is recorded as having been built by two brothers Maredudd and Rhys ap Gruffydd of the royal line of Deheubarth. Whether this refers to a wooden castle on a motte, PRN 881, or a stone castle is still not clear although the stone keep as we see it now may date from a rebuilding after Llywelyn forced Rhys Grug to dismantle the castle in the early 13th century. From 1276 onwards, the castle was largely kept in English hands. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle underwent several phases of repair. It resisted a siege by the forces of Owain Glyndwr in 1403. In Tudor times, it was modified by Sir Rhys ap Thomas, but he soon abandoned the castle in favour of a new mansion at Newton House. During the late 18th to early 19th century, the castle was deliberately converted in to a romantic ruin and a summerhouse was built on top of the keep, providing splendid views over the Dynevor estate lands. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 882)
This site is a scheduled monument protected by law
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law
Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||SN611217