Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Oystermouth Castle

I'm going to dedicate this blog post to my blog friend Gabriele  from The Lost Fort/.     I know Gabriele has a big interest in castles and their defences, and has been blogging about the castles of Wales.   Well here's another one for her to view - and it's quite unique.  

This is Oystermouth castle in the small village of Mumbles, near Swansea.  It was originally built in the early 12th Century by William de Londres.  It later became the chief residence for the Lords of Gower.  The oldest part of the castle is the keep.

If you haven't spotted it already, the reason Oystermouth is unique is that the towers at the front of the castle are square, not round.  I've been told it's the only medieval castle to have square towers still standing.  I suspect the others long fell victim to the battering rams and siege machines of the middle ages.

The castle stands on the top of a hill with fantastic views of the coast and sea.  Here's the view from a window at the top of the castle.

One of the castles claims to fame is that Edward Ist spent Christmas there is 1284.   In recent years, the castle has benefited from a grant from the Welsh Assembly to carry out conservation work at Oystermouth, and it was during this work that the very feint remains of a painting in the chapel was discovered.   it appears to be the outline of an angel, and dates from the 14th Century.  It's been badly damaged by exposure to the elements.  

Here's a picture of the restoration work.  A glass walkway allows access to this floor, and the painting of the angel is near the arch on the right. It's a fabulous castle with access to storerooms and staircases that lead underground.