Ogmore Castle, Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales
We take an out of season stroll around a fading funfair
(Photos © urban75, 26th December 2008)
A short way up from Ogmore-by-sea and situated on the south bank of the River Ewenny just before it joins with the River Ogmore is Ogmore Castle.
There's been fortifications on this site since 1116, after William de Londres erected a ringwork or motte as part of the Norman invasion of Wales.
One of three castles built by the Normans - the others being Coity Castle and Newcastle, Bridgend - the earth and timber structure was promptly reinforced with stone and a great keep added.
Built around 1126, the keep once rose to three stories and 40 feet high, containing the great hall, complete with an ornate fireplace and elaborate windows.
A stone staircase gave access to the next floor which served as apartments for the lord and his family, with a well-preserved latrine tower adjoining the residential complex.
The castle has had a fairly uneventful history, with the structure losing any military significance by the later Middle Ages.
In the 14th century, the castle became a centre of administrative justice for the Earls of Lancaster, and now survives as a substantial set of remains and local landmark.
Now in the care of CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments, Ogmore Castle is is freely accessible to the public at any reasonable time, and is well worth a visit. It's also a lovely spot for a picnic, but mnot, perhaps, in deepest mid-winter!
View of the keep.
The River Ewenny passes right next to the castle site - here's a view of the opposite bank.
There's a well-used set of stepping stones close to the castle site, and those brave enough to risk the torrents can join up with a footpath that leads to the village of Merthyr Mawr.
My shadow as I looked out across the river from the castle's remains.
You can see the remains of the ornate first floor fireplace.
Inside the inner ward can be seen the remains of anther 12th century structure, with only the cellar remaining.
Entrance to the castle.
I don't think the horse was too chuffed to find itself parked in the freezing cold river.
The river heading for the coast.
View showing the proximity of the castle to the River Ewenny. That horse is still stuck in the water, poor thing.
« back to Wales photo homepage