Carreg Cennen Castle, Swansea, Wales

 

A site long in history, Carreg Cennen Castle is just north of Swansea, and south east of Llandeilo. Built on a hilltop, first occupied by Iron Age man, then the Romans, before the Welsh Princes of Deheubarth built the first actual castle at Carreg Cennen. 

Today's castle is the result of another of Edward I's  series of Welsh castles. The views from the hilltop are magnificent, showing how the site commanded the surrounding countryside with the Black Mountains beyond. On one side a sheer 300 foot cliff protects the castle

An attacker would first have to breach the outer ward, which  enclosed the stables, workshops and lime kilns. There was then an enclosure was designed to trap intruders, expose them to cross fire and prevent access to the castle's interior. The huge North East Tower projected into the ward and was positioned so that the defenders could mount an assault on the invaders trapped in the enclosure

The immediately before the gatehouse are the remains of the Middle Gate Tower, the last line of defence before the gatehouse. The gatehouse was main way in to the castle, the twin towered gatehouse on the north wall. led into the inner courtyard. If attackers got as far as this, they would have been met by a rain of arrows from this tower.  The gatehouse was also defended with a drawbridge, and contained arrowslits, two portcullises, heavy wooden doors, battlements and murder-holes for pouring stuff on the attackers.

In addition, the gatehouse acted as the castle's keep, the last defensive position refuge during an attack.  The castle withstood a siege by Owen Glendower

Much of the interior of Carreg Cennen is in ruins the result. Following  the Wars of the Roses attempts were made in 1462 to demolish the castle

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