I visited another of the South Wales Castles, this time Newcastle. This should not be confused with the towns of Newcastle in the UK or the very famous northern city of Newcastle-Upton-Tyne.
This Newcastle now stands on Newcastle Hill overlooking the town of Bridgend and the river Ogmore that flows through the town.
The Norman castles throughout Wales were built hastily of wood with an earthen embankment but this castle like so many others was later reinforced by stone.
Above you can see the Southern wall incorporating the south tower that is the part of the castle that has survived the best. (In the background you can see St. Illtyds Church).
The west tower would have stood here, sadly most of it has gone now but this would have looked onto the keep which is now completely destroyed and there is no visible remains of the keep.
On the eastern side, the remains of domestic buildings can be seen.
Although the castle overlooks the strategic River Ogmore which flows down past Ogmore Castle it is more likely that this Newcastle was more of a great residence than a defensive stronghold.
After the invasion and conquest of England in 1066 by the Normans, a buffer was created between England and Wales along what is known as the Marchers or Welsh Marchers. The leaders at the time were given authority and were encouraged to take land from any Welsh rulers.
The invasion of South Wales was led by Robert Fitz Hamo and this led to the destruction of the Welsh Kingdom of Morgannwg and the Lordship of Glamorgan was born.
According to legend, The lord was accompanied by a dozen knights who would be later known as the "Twelve Knights" and much of the early castle building was done by The Twelve Knights".
Later in the Castles history, Lord Roberts grandson William died leaving a daughter but no male heir and that led to the Welsh tribes led by "Morgan ap Carradog" (Morgan son of Carradog) to rise up. This disorder was soon quelled and King Henry was forced to take over the rule of Glamorgan in around 1183 and it is likely that the decorated stone gateway was built at this time.
Another of the Castles of South Wales which sadly is in ruin but is now protected by Cadw
(Cadw is the historic environment service of the Welsh Government and part of the Tourism and Culture group. Cadw works to protect the historic buildings and structures, the landscapes and heritage sites of Wales, so that the public can visit them, enjoy them and understand their significance. )