Ancient Monuments

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Loughor Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Llwchwr, Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.6622 / 51°39'43"N

Longitude: -4.0771 / 4°4'37"W

OS Eastings: 256434

OS Northings: 197980

OS Grid: SS564979

Mapcode National: GBR GV.T6PD

Mapcode Global: VH4K1.8HY3

Entry Name: Loughor Castle

Scheduled Date: 3 January 1934

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 142

Cadw Legacy ID: GM046

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Castle

Period: Medieval

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Llwchwr

Built-Up Area: Loughor

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of the remains of a castle dating to the medieval period. Loughor castle is placed in a strategic position on the western edge of the lordship of Gower guarding the lowest crossing of the River Loughor. The Romans too found this a strategic spot and the castle was built in the south-east corner of the Roman auxiliary for of Leucarum. It was founded in the early 12th century by Henry de Villiers. At this stage an oval area on the highest part of the spur above the river was enclosed by a ditch, now gone, and the edge heightened by a bank. Thus, despite its motte-like appearance, the earliest castle was really a castle ringwork. Excavation has revealed that a rectangular kitchen occupied the east side of the interior. Of the other buildings, which would have been of timber, nothing is known.

The castle's history was a turbulent one, and there are four further stages of rebuilding. In the mid to late 12th century further timber buildings and possibly a stone tower, predecessor to the present one, were built, and in the late 12th to early 13th century two stone buildings were constructed in the middle. A stone curtain wall was built before 1215; its foundations were found during excavation. The slight lip around the edge of the mound marks its position. A small stone tower on the west side of the mound dates from the late 13th century or about 1300, the last building phase at the castle, perhaps during the lordships of William de Braose II and III. The presence of a fireplace in the north wall, and garderobe in the south, both on the first floor, indicates that the tower was residential. Its thick walls stand to first floor level, and there was originally another floor above. The whole of the south-east corner, complete with spiral stair, lies on its side, having fallen in the 1940s. Adjoining the tower to the south was the entrance gateway. The castle was made redundant by Edward I's pacification of Wales and fell into decline.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive practices. The monument is well-preserved and an important relic of the medieval landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both structural evidence and intact associated deposits.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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