A quick dash back across country to west Wales again and Swansea’s Oystermouth Castle –
I feel a little like Harold and his army, when he marched his army up to Yorkshire from Pevensey, Sussex (where I live) fought the Battle of Stamford Bridge, then marched them down again to take on William the Conqueror and the Normans ... but that’s to digress and Pevensey Castle does not feature!
The Lords of Gower owned much of the Peninsula including this the Gower’s finest castle, standing on a small hill with magnificent views over Swansea Bay and the area known as the Mumbles ... wonderful for mussels fishing.
|Mumbles Bay - great for mussels|
As the main larger port of Swansea is nearby ultimately Swansea Castle came to be their chief residence ... but Oystermouth for a while stood proud, Edward I in 1284 paid a visit.
|Oystermouth Castle showing the gatehouse|
and chapel window
The early stone castle building was rebuilt by the de Braoses, as lords of the Gower, in the 13th century, and has stood the test of time – certainly falling into decay, but gently as an elegant architectural lady.
The rebuilding included a high curtain wall, internal rooms added, a chapel, basements, a three storey residence with fireplaces and garderobes on each floor. The castle had every residential feature necessary for living in some comfort and was also cleverly refortified.
|A garderobe at Peveril Castle|
However despite its decay it still has the power to stir the imagination. A Castle such as Oystermouth is a great physical example of an ancient reminder of our rich heritage, which tells a story for Britain.
Recently during a refurbishment and modernisation to accommodate visitors in the 21st century – remnants of an ornate medieval painting dating back to the 14th century have recently been uncovered in the Chapel.
|Shakespeare at the Castle|
The conservation works continue but for now the scheme includes new visitor facilities, an educational space, improvements to access and a 30 foot high glass viewing platform and bridge that leads into Alina’s Chapel.
|"Shakespeare at the Oyster"|
That is O for Oystermouth Castle a fine example for students to visit to understand the complexities of fortress living through the centuries ... part of the ABC series Aspects of British Castles.
Bob Scotney’s castle yesterday was also Nottingham Castle
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