Visiting Loughor Castle, Loughor, Wales: Anglo-Norman ruin on the site of a Roman fort
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.
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.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting Pennard Castle, near Swansea, Wales: late 13th or early 14th century clifftop ruins
- Visiting Kenfig Castle, Wales: Medieval ruins near Kenfig Burrows nature reserve
- Visiting Castell Coch at Tongwynlais, Wales: an imposing Victorian, Gothic-Revival castle
- Visiting Caerphilly, Wales: its remarkably well-preserved castle
- Visiting Kidwelly Castle: Norman monumentality in West Wales