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Swansea Castle

Visited April 2019

Location Swansea
Entrance Fee No 
Railway Station Nearby Yes- Swansea
Parking City Car Parks
Facilities None


Once a magnificent stronghold on the side of the River Tawe, today this castle is surrounded by modern-day Swansea. Building development on the castle site has seen its total footprint reduced, and the diverting of the Tawe means the remaining castle buildings are no longer next to the river. 






There is not too much left of the castle today, but what there is is open access and free to visit. There are two parts of the ruin, one is the remains of the hall block, and the other is a smaller detached building across the courtyard which was used as a debtor's prison until the end of the nineteenth century.


The hall block was built by the de Braose family in the 1280's, at a time when comfortable accommodation was becoming more of a requirement than defence. It is clear that the owners were somewhat ostentatious, the decorative parapet which survives to this day was a definite sign of wealth. It is similar to those found at both Lamphey Bishop's Palace and St David's Bishop Palace and is by far the best feature of the castle.





In addition to the hall range there is the remains of a solar tower, this also has some decorative arches. The second building at the site is the remains of the debtors prison. The building still has a roof but there is no access to the interior. The castle is situated by a large public square to one side, but is dwarfed by the 1970s Telecom tower on the other side. It makes an interesting contrast of old and new existing side by side.






The castle remains are small and do not take long to look round, as there is no interior access. We combined it with a visit to Oystermouth Castle which is just up the coast and provides more interest for children. However, Swansea Castle is worth a quick visit if you are in the area , and Swansea has many other tourist attractions plus a large sandy beach if you wish to see more of the town. 





More info:  Swansea Castle

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