Thursday, 5 January 2017

Bronllys Castle


Keith and I checked this out when we were in the area recently and this time I had remembered my camera.  It has connections with the Marcher Lord William de Braose (NOT a very nice man).  I will give lots of details later but my head currently feels like it is in lala land so I can't concentrate.  Back later. Meanwhile enjoy the photos.



As you can see, there was originally much more than just the defendable tower which now remains to a height of some 80 feet.  The picture below shows it in one corner of the bailey (which now has some lovely old buildings gracing a right angle of it - see photo beneath the CADW picture of the tower).  It was originally a Norman castle, and dates to the late 12th?early 13th C, with the tower being added in the 13th C, and very similar in design to those at Tretower (15 miles away and a favourite of ours for Tretower Court beside it) and Skenfrith.  These Marcher castles, like White Castle and Grosmont, were held by the Marcher lords, of whom William de Braose was one.  He is infamous for murdering several Welsh leaders and their followers in a Christmas Day massacre at Abergavenny castle.  The Welsh called him the "ogre of Abergavenny" from that point on.  Despite Gerald of Wales sucking up to him and saying how religious and wonderful he was, de Braose continued with his vendetta against the Welsh and hunted down and murdered poor wee 7 year old Cadwaladr. sole surviving son of Seisyll ap Dyfnwal. Even the castle itself seemed to have it in for people as during a fire in 1165, a hapless knight, Mahel, son of the Earl of Hereford, was killed by a piece of falling masonry . . .



Sorry that my photos of the signage are poor.  These links will help fill out the picture of Bronllys' and William de Braoses' history.



This would be the solar, I assume.  I could imagine sitting here on a sunny day like this with my embroidery.


There were several stories in the tower, each with excellent fireplaces to keep the occupants warm.



A plan of the tower - usually it has English one side and the Welsh translation on the other and I can just take a photo of the English side.  I trust you get the gist though.


I wouldn't mind living here . . .



Finally some window pictures, looking in various directions.



My favourite one, which may well end up as a Header photo when I can bear to take down the gorgeous one I am using at the moment.  I always feel a pang of regret taking down my favourite photos to replace with another just as good or better.


A final view of the Black Mountains with a smattering of snow.  This is looking roughly south east of the castle.

10 comments:

  1. Love the photos of the winter sun on the trees through the archways and windows. Jx

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    1. The last one is the best as the light was just right. I love to take photos through castle windows.

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  2. I love those window photos.

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    1. I see I am pleasing everyone this time!

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  3. Fabulous mountain massif there.

    Not a very big castle, couldn't have had very many chattels!

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  4. That is one end of the Black Mountains Simon, leading on to Hay Bluff. Looks good in snow doesns't it? I think there were more bits to the castle, that was just the defensive tower. If you look at that first picture board I photographed, the building to the left of it looks more substantial.

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  5. Yes you are definitely pleasing everyone with the photos and tales of wicked tyrants. Is it always sunny in Wales?

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  6. It isn't sunny today Thelma, but occasionally we get a cold sunny day and make the most of it!

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  7. A wonderful post - so interesting - thanks so much for sharing. Really enjoyed the last post too on the ancient pub. Super photos. Reading these posts makes me just want to get in the car and drive to visit them.

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