Last weekend, September 2017, we were in Wales, and we only had one day of exploring, but you can do a lot in a day. On the way back from visiting the lighthouse at Strumble Head, in North Pembrokeshire, we were driving through Newport on the way back to New Quay, when looking right, I saw a castle. Now….. we have driven through Newport several times, but I guess I have never looked up that particular road before, so it was a lovely surprise to see a new castle to me, in an area that we thought we knew really well. There is no access to the Castle, as it is a private home, but you can get a good view from the road, or go further up the hillside as we did. I would have loved to have got closer, but it is someones home, so I didn’t creep up the drive, hiding behind trees, but I so wished I could have done.
I also visited the church, which had some early photos of the church, but with castle and then the Tourist Board had a few more. It’s always interesting to see some earlier references to theses ancient castles.
A little history…….It is suggested that Newport Castle was founded by the first Lord Marcher of Kemes, Martin de Turribus in 1191 and rebuilt by his son William at the end of the 12th Century. None of this original castle survives, with the oldest remaining parts of the building thought to date to the late 13th century. The castle was captured by Llywelyn the Great in 1215 and Llywelyn the Last in 1257 but on both occasions was recaptured. Ownership of the castle was transferred to Lord Audley in 1324.
The castle suffered extensive damage during the Welsh Revolt at the start of the 15th century. The castle was temporarily transferred to the crown when the then Lord Audley, James, was executed for high treason and all his lands seized in 1497, but these were returned to his son in 1534. William Owen of Henllys bought the castle nine years later.
A three-storey private residence was built in 1859 on the site of the castles gate-house, as part of renovations carried out by the owner at the time, Sir Thomas Lloyd, during which one of the flanking towers of the gatehouse was demolished. Three other towers at the corners of the building remain, along with a curtain wall. A vaulted crypt adjoins the south-eastern tower.
The castle was listed with Grade I status on 16 January 1952. Today, the building remains in private ownership and is not open to the public.