Narberth Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameNarberth Castle
Alternative NamesArbeth; Norberd; Narbeth
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunityNarberth

The visible remains of the single ward Narberth Castle are thought to date from the mid-thirteenth century and later. They include a rectangular enclosure approximately 40m north to south by 20m with the ruins of two quarter-engaged drum towers and traces of a curtain wall with two semi-cirular bastions to the west of the enclosure. To the east is a vaulted cellar, the remains of a tower, and evidence of two garderobes. The castle is first mentioned in 1116 and was possibly occupied until the seventeenth century. It is described in a survey of 1539. (Coflein)

Situated on a scraped eminence overlooking the valley and river crossing on the southern approaches to the town.

Single-ward stone castle built soon after 1257 following destruction of Sentence Castle by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. Burnt in 1299, but rebuilt. Granted to Sir Rhys ap Thomas in 1516. Reverted to the crown in 1531 following act of attainder on Sir Rhys ap Gruffydd, when said to be in state of decay. It was, however, inhabited as late as 1657.

Rectangular site. Half moon outwork covers S front. Ruins of 2 quarter-engaged drum towers with battered bases. SE tower (bakehouse and chapel tower), has aumbry to 1st storey former reveal; window opening to 2nd storey. SW tower survives to 3 storeys. (Larder with 2 chambers over) pointed arches to 2nd floor openings, broad internal splays to ground floor openings. At right angles to N, fragment of walling rises to 1st storey height (former kitchens with hall over). Cambered openings to ground floor - modern blocking. Traces of arched openings to 1st floor level. Corbels.

On W of enclosure tracers of curtain with 2 semicircular bastions, one with drain.

On E vaulted cellar with 3 openings, centre enlarged to form doorway. Original door to S end but with modern work. Section of wall over bear evidence of window to former great chamber. Also on E remains of tower with battered base below stringcourse

Evidence of 2 garderobes with chutes to angle with curtain. Flues to 1st and 2nd floors. (Buttery with 2 chambers over).

The site of the Great Tower with its forebuilding and adjoining gatehouse lie obscured at N end of site. (Listed Building Report)

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 ReferenceSN109144
Latitude51.7960815429688
Longitude-4.74254989624023
Eastings210980
Northings214400
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Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Nathan Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
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Books

  • Kenyon, John, 2010, The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press) p. 88
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 211-12
  • Hull, Lise, 2005, Castles and Bishops Palaces of Pembrokeshire (Logaston Press) p. 142-8
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 166
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 96-8 (plan)
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 109
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 68--9
  • Miles, Dillwyn, 1979 (Revised 1988), Castles of Pembrokeshire (Pembrokeshire Coast National Park) p. 26-7
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 395
  • Soulsby, I., 1983, The Towns of Medieval Wales (Phillimore)
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 367
  • Stickings, T.G., 1973, Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire (Tenby) p. 67-72
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 251
  • RCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 246-8 no. 737 online copy
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 280 online copy
  • Edwards, Emily Hewlett, 1909, Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire (Tenby) p. 33-4 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy
  • Buck, Samuel and Nathenial, 1774, Buck’s Antiquities (London) Vol. 2 p. 424

Antiquarian

  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1906, Leland's Itinerary in Wales  (Bell and Sons; London) p. 62 online copy

Journals

  • Wiles, John, 2013-14, '"Marshall towers" in South-West Wales: Innovation, Emulation and Mimicry' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 27 p. 181-202
  • 2005-6, 'Narberth Castle' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 19 p. 135-8
  • Ludlow, N, 2003, 'The Castle and Lordship of Narberth', Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society Vol. 12 p. 5-43 online copy
  • Murphy, K. and Crane, P., 2002, 'Burials at Narberth Castle, Pembrokeshire' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 42 p. 73-7
  • 2000-2001, 'Narbeth Castle Consolidation' Castle Studies Group Newsletter No. 14 p. 27-28 online copy
  • King, D.J.C., 1976, ‘Narberth Castle’ The 123rd Annual Meeting in South Pembrokeshire, 1976, CAA p. 13-14
  • 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
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124 (Late–attributed to origin in C12 but regarded as later)
  • Harrison, W., 1962, 'Narbeth Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 119 p. 328-30 online copy
  • King, D.J.C., 1962, 'The Castles of Pembrokeshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 119 p. 313-6 online copy
  • Harrison, W., 1962, 'Narberth Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 119 p. 328+30 online copy
  • Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)

Primary Sources

  • Brut y Tywysogion 1116, 1215, 1220, 1257 (Several transcriptions and translations exist the best being Jones, T., 1952, Brut Y Twysogion (University of Wales, History and Law series 11)–based on the Peniarth MS 20 version. There is a flawed translation Williams ab Ithel, John, 1860, Brut Y Twysogion or The Chronicle of the Princes (Rolls Series) online copy)
  • Williams (ab Ithel), John, (ed), 1860, Annales Cambriae (444 – 1288) (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts)1116 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward I (1292-1301) Vol. 3 p. 465 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 393

Other

  • Ludlow, Neil, 2006, Narberth Castle: 2003-2005 recording (Dyfed Archaeological Trust report)
  • Ludlow, N. and Jameson, T. 2003, Narberth Castle 2003: Interim Report (Dyfed Archaeological Trust Report)
  • Murphy, K. and Crane, P., 2002, Burials at Narberth Castle (Dyfed Archaeological Trust Report No. 2002/50)