Pencoed Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NamePencoed Castle
Alternative NamesPencoyd
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityNewport
1974 AuthorityGwent
CommunityLangstone

Pencoed Castle is a substantial courtyard castle, now derelict and abandoned. Parts are completely ruined, other parts have been partially restored, chiefly the range on the east side of the courtyard. The castle was probably first built in the early thirteenth century by Sir Richard de la More, but of this phase only the round tower in the SW corner of the courtyard remains. Most of the surviving castle dates from the first half of the sixteenth century, when the castle was owned by Sir Thomas Morgan and his successors. Leland, in 1538, called it 'a fair Maner place'. There is a three-storey entrance gatehouse on the W side of a rectangular courtyard, which is surrounded by a ruined curtain wall on the W and S sides. There are very partial remnants of a curtain wall on the N side. To the N of the gatehouse there was originally a gabled building butting against the gatehouse. The main residential block was along the eastern side of the courtyard. This stands largely intact and partially restored. Close to the N side of the castle stands a twentieth century house, probably built in the 1920s by Eric Francis. Originally the castle was surrounded by a moat (filled in on the north and east sides), and the remains of this are visible on the west and south sides. The castle's history was uneventful, and it changed hands several times and was neglected from 1751 until it was bought just before the First World War by Lord Rhondda. He intended to restore it and started work with the architect G.H. Kitchen. But work stopped at the outbreak of war, and was resumed by Lady Rhondda and her daughter in 1919, with the architect Eric Francis. However, work was again abandoned, and in 1931 the Rhonddas sold the castle, since when it has been neglected

(Coflein)

Located at the end of a narrow lane from by-road off B4245, approx 1km S of Llandevaud village and 1km E of Llanmartin.

Fortified Tudor manorhouse thought to have been built by Sir Thomas Morgan during the first quarter of the C16 on the site of a moated Norman castle held in 1270 by Sir Richard de la More and in 1306 by Maurice and Walter de Kemeys. The Manorhouse possibly incorporates part of the earlier castle. The Morgan family resided at Pencoed until the end of the C17. By 1780 the castle has passed into the hands of the Gwyns of Llanhowell. During the C19 the castle was let to farmers. In 1914 Lord Rhondda purchased the castle along with Penhow Castle and proceeded to restore it. After his death in 1918 the work ceased.

The castle consists of a large three storied Tudor manorhouse constructed of dressed stone and re-faced in ashlar to the front (W) elevation, with battlemented parapet. The great hall is aligned on a N/S axis with a central three storey porch on the front (W) elevation. The porch is square in plan, full height and with segmental pointed outer door opening with segmental headed recess above. To the right of the porch is a two storey, two window bay, with five-light transomed hall windows to the ground floor and two five light windows aligned above. To the left hand side of the porch is a three storey, two window range with two and three light windows. To the left of this is a further range, the remains of a three storey projecting wall with three openings in it separates the two ranges. The three storey N wing contains the kitchens on the ground floor and the S wing contains further accommodation. The castle has been much restored, being refaced, reroofed and refenestrated using Tudor style chamfered mullion windows. The side and rear walls are mainly unrestored, although some replacement windows are evident. Parts of the masonry appear to be of heavy character suggesting retention of earlier fabric. Two large, three storey wings project at N and S ends of the rear elevation. (Listed Building Report)

Moat and round SW tower may be relics of a castle held in 1270 by Sir Richard de la More, and in 1306 by Maurice and Walter de Kemys. It passed to the Morgans of Tredegar in C15 and a big new mansion on the east side and the gatehouse on the west side were built by Sir Thomas Morgan in c1490-1500. The gatehouse and corner tower are ruined and the mansion lies in a gutted and derelict state, though still with some flooring and the roof more or less intact. (Salter)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2* 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 ReferenceST406894
Latitude51.6003913879395
Longitude-2.85852003097534
Eastings340600
Northings189400
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Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ben Salter All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 170-72
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 243 (listed)
  • Phillips, Neil, 2006, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (British Archaeological Reports) p. 289-90 (slight)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 135
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 118
  • Bradney, Joseph, 1994 (reprint of original 1933 edition), A History of Monmouthshire, Vol IV, The Hundred of Caldicot (Merton Priory Press) p. 216-7
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 26
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 286
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 372
  • Bradney, J.A., 1904-33, History of Monmouthshire Vol. 4 p. 216-7
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1897, Castles of England (Heinemann) Vol. 2 p. 86 online copy
  • Coxe, W., 1801, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire (London) Vol. 1 p. 32-3

Antiquarian

  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (Bell and Sons; London) Vol. 4 p. 85 online copy

Journals

  • 2004-5, 'Pencoed Castle' Castle Studies Group Bulletin Vol. 18 p. 115 (news report)
  • 2001-2002, 'Pencoed Castle' Castle Studies Group Newsletter No. 15 p. 63 (news report) online copy
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Morgan and Wakeman, 1864, 'Notices of Pencoyd Castle and Langstone' Proceedings of the Monmouth and Caerleon Antiquarian Association p. 5-32
  • Wakeman, T., 1855, 'Pencoyd Castle, Monmouthshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 10 p. 118-9 online copy

Other

  • Newport City Council, June 2009, Register Of Buildings At Risk p. 14, 42, 45, 64 online copy
  • Phillips, Neil, 2005, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (PhD Thesis University of Sheffield) Download