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Visiting Loughor Castle, Loughor, Wales: Anglo-Norman ruin on the site of a Roman fort

Updated on November 22, 2011
Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales | Source
Loughor Castle
Loughor Castle | Source
Arms of the de Braose house
Arms of the de Braose house | Source
Map location of Swansea, Wales
Map location of Swansea, Wales | Source

The intervention of the Medieval de Braose family, surrounded by centuries of silence

The structure of Loughor Castle (Welsh: Castell Llwchwr ), built on a mound in the Welsh town of Loughor, overlooking the river of the same name, is Anglo-Norman (Welsh: Eingl-Normanaidd ).

Some history and features

However, the original fort on this site was actually Roman; the settlement is supposed to have been called Leucarum. But the Romans went home and events at the Roman fort at what is now Loughor then seemed to abate into relative silence.

It was from several centuries after the departure of the Romans that the extant walls of the castle ruins date. In the 12th century, the Normans arrived, erecting a structure, a number of lords possessing the site, although in the same century the castle was destroyed in a native Welsh attack.

Then in the early 13th century, the Anglo-Norman de Braose family, a line of nobles responsible for various castles, came into the possession of Loughor Castle . Although John de Braose built walls, this wall superstructure has not survived.

But another family member, William de Braose, was responsible for the extant tower, in a rectangular shape, which dominates the mound even today. This tower, executed in stone, dates from the late 13th century.

As with all things military, necessity is the driving force and by the 14th century the castle at Loughor no longer commanded a strict military need. It thus fell back into what might be called its silent mode.

Interestingly, the Knights of the St. John of Jerusalem are said to have been the owners of a house in Loughor. This property was known as the Sanctuary.

Loughor is situated within the boundaries of Swansea (Welsh: Abertawe ), but its identity as a separate locality is longstanding. Loughor Bridge (Welsh: Pont Llwchwr ) links the historic county of Glamorgan (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg ) with nearby Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin ), to the west, across the river.

Also worth seeing

Swansea (distance: 12 kilometres); its Medieval castle in the Downtown area is worth seeing. The birthplace of poet Dylan Thomas is situated in Cwmdonkin Drive.

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How to get there: Continental Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport , from where car rental is available. London Heathrow is 293 kilometres from Loughor . There are also rail (from London Paddington railroad station) and bus links to Swansea. You are advised that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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    • MJFenn profile image
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      MJFenn 5 years ago

      Web Cottages: Yes, Wales has castles galore; there is an amazing number of them to discover, making Wales an ideal destination for the historically minded traveller. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Web Cottages profile image

      Web Cottages 5 years ago from Chester, UK

      I've never heard about this castle before, I'll add it to my must visit list! Thanks!--Amanda

    • MJFenn profile image
      Author

      MJFenn 5 years ago

      HendrikDB: Wales's castles are indeed interesting. Thank-you for your comment.

    • HendrikDB profile image

      HendrikDB 5 years ago

      Interesting - thanks.