Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle
There are major building remains
|Alternative Names||Ynys Gynwreid; Skinffrith
|Community||Llangattock Vibon Avel
Skenfrith Castle’s original earth-and-timber form was built by the Normans during their settlement of England in order to protect communication routes between Hereford and England, forming a triangle of defences with Grosmont Castle and White Castle. The earthworks were later levelled in order to make way for the red sandstone castle begun in the late twelfth century to prepare for possible Welsh attack, in a design which was aimed both at military efficiency and domestic comfort. The castle is sub-rectangular, with a circular tower at each corner, a circular keep at the centre, and a hall and range of domestic apartments to the west, enclosed within a 12m wide moat. During the fifteenth century repairs were carried out at Skenfrith but by 1538 it had fallen into disuse, and passed through a number of hands before being given to the National Trust. It is now maintained by Cadw. (Coflein)
Situated at the SE corner of Skenfrith village, in the valley of the River Monnow, close to the W bank of the river and approximately 100m NW of Skenfrith Bridge.
One of three castles granted by King John to Hubert de Burgh in 1201, a powerful marcher lord who became the king's justiciar, who rebuilt it in stone between 1219 and 1232.
Ancient Monument. A ruined early-C13 curtain-walled castle built of roughly-coursed Old Red Sandstone; formerly surrounded by a moat fed from the river. It has a trapeziform plan, the NE side (to the river) approximately 80m long, the NW and SW sides approximately 60m, and the SE side approximately 40m, with a circular tower at each corner; a semi-circular tower added to the centre of the SW side in the late C13; and a circular keep-tower in the inner ward
Except for a wide breach in the middle of the NW side (now the entrance) the side walls still stand to a height of approximately 4m or 5m, the surviving towers slightly more, but at the NW corner little remains of the corner tower and the walls on either side have been robbed of much of their facing masonry. The original entrance is believed to have been in the middle of the NW side, and there is no other entrance except for a "water gate" in the middle of the NE side, where steps run down from the inner ward to a depressed-arched doorway. The circular keep tower, standing on a low mound offset slightly SW of the centre of the inner ward, is a little over 10m in diameter and about 12m in height. It has a battered plinth approximately 2m high, a former round-headed doorway at 1st-floor level on the N side (the masonry diagonally below it to the right breached); a convex extrusion on the W side (of which only the bottom remains) which appears to have been designed to accommodate a circular stair in the thickness of the wall; and remains of 3 round-headed window openings. Along the inner side of the SW wall are foundations of the basement of the former hall range; and near the NE corner is a circular well. (Listed Building Report)
Quadrilateral enclosure castle, mentioned, 1183, reconstructed in its present form in early C13, possibly still maintained into C16. The castle enclosure measures: 56m on the NW; 68m on the NE, river front; 34m on the SE and 54m on the SW, with c.8.0m diameter round towers at each angle and an additional tower on the SW front. Within the enclosure is a battered round tower, 13m in diameter overall, and remains of internal ranges. Away from the river there was a 12m wide stone-revetted moat. Constructed by Hubert de Burgh (1219-1232).
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 Reference||SO457202