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Candlestone Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the community of Merthyr Mawr.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Bridgend.
Preserved county of Mid Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: SS87127725
Latitude 51.48284° Longitude -3.62669°

Candlestone Castle has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


The name Candleston is probably derived from the de Cantelupe family who built a fortified manor house here in the later C14. The lands of the manor later became covered with dunes and thus valueless, but the building remained occupied until C19 and is consequently much altered. It comprises a D-shaped courtyard about 30m across with a very ruined wall 1.1m thick rising 2m to the wall walk from the inside but rather more above the ground outside, plus a two storey hall block and tower on the east side. The only feature of interest in the hall block is a C15 fireplace backing onto the tower which contains a solar above a dark cellar with a very flat vault. The tower measures 7.9m by 6.4m and has a parapet on a corbel table around a dark topmost room probably for the use of servants. The solar is reached from below by a straight stair in the thick south wall and has a fireplace, large windows, and a latrine. (Salter 1991)

Ruins of a two storey range, including a first-floor hall and solar tower define the E side of a "D" shaped enclosure, c.40m ENE-WSW by 26m, otherwise defined by a stone curtain wall. A further enclosure, c.44m by 30m, on the NE may be associated with the castle. Fabric dated to the e. 14th c, possibly on the site of an earlier enclosure, in-use as an elite dwelling and consequently modified, until at least 1808. Served as a farmhouse until the late C19. (RCAHMW, 2000)

Approximately 1.2km WSW of Merthyr Mawr church, on the E (inland) side of sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr Warren, and at the end of a minor road W of Merthyr Mawr village.
Only the tower remains of a C14 fortified manor house built by the de Cantelupes. The present hall block was added c1500. During the C16 and C17 it was owned by the Herbert family of Swansea and Neath. During this period a wing with outshut was added to the hall, and a stable was added to the tower. The house was inhabited by Sir John Nicholl, who purchased Candleston Castle with the Merthyr Mawr Estate in 1804, while his new house at Merthyr Mawr was built 1806-9. Brick dressings identify alterations made in this phase. The castle was subsequently abandoned.
Ruined castle of rubble stone comprising a 2-storey hall range oriented N-S (consisting of undercroft and 1st-floor hall), with the remains of a wing attached to W side, a 2-stage tower at S end of hall, to which a stable wing is attached to E. On W side is remains of a faceted curtain wall forming a rough D-shape in plan. The tower is slightly narrower than the hall range and is set back from its W wall. It has, in its S wall, a small stair light L and a large opening to centre in the upper stage, with putlog holes to R. In the E wall is a central segmental-headed opening in the upper stage (with voussoirs missing). In the W wall are 2 small stair lights to R and the curtain wall attached to the SW angle. The tower is entered in N wall to R, from the undercroft to the hall, and leads to remains of a mural stair. The tower has a vaulted undercroft entered from the hall range through a 2-centred doorway with stop-chamfer surround. At the top of the stairs is one stop-chamfered jamb of a doorway leading into the upper chamber. The upper chamber has a garderobe in the NE corner entered through a doorway with remains of a triangular head. In the N wall a doorway is cut through to hall to R and in centre is a single corbel of a possible former corbelled external stack to hall. In the W wall is a narrow doorway with a lancet head giving access to stone steps R and L up to a former wall walk on the curtain wall. The W wall of the hall range has an inserted doorway R with window above. To the L is a similar 1st-floor window with a blocked doorway below (visible only inside). The ground is banked up against the E wall, where there is one upper-storey window (lower storey openings are visible only inside the building). The original entrance to the hall range was at the N end of the W wall, where the wing was later added. The jambs of outer and inner arches survive of this original doorway, and have wave-moulded chamfers and haunches of Tudor arches. The doorway originally led to stairs to the 1st-floor hall and to the R of the doorway is a cross wall in the undercroft, which has a fireplace with a segmental head and an infilled hearth. Above it is a single moulded corbel, and to its R is a Tudor-headed doorway leading up to the hall. One jamb of the doorway into the hall is above and to L of the fireplace. A later fireplace is inserted into the E wall of the undercroft, to the R of which is a blocked window. In the S wall of the hall is a fine Tudor-Gothic chimneypiece, with remains of a Tudor head, and with filleted jambs carried up as shafts with foliage trails in hollow chamfers above the fireplace to support a former shelf. To the L of fireplace is the doorway to the tower. The wing has, in the S wall, an inserted doorway to L with brick jambs (later blocked), a similar blocked doorway to the R with segmental brick head, and a window upper R. In the W gable end is an inserted window upper centre with brick jambs and a segmental head, blocked with stone. To the L are openings in a former outshut, consisting of a wide doorway (with one jamb repaired in brick) and a small opening above in a dressed stone surround. In the N wall of the wing are chamfered jambs of a doorway to the R at low level, the doorway now blocked with stone. The stable has a 4-window S wall (now detached from tower). A doorway to the R has segmental head, former doorways to the L and R of centre are converted to windows (with brick head to L). The window L of centre is narrowed in a brick surround. The windows to the R in the upper storey have brick heads, and a window L of centre is blocked. The ground level built up against the gable end and the rear. The curtain wall is ruinous and discontinuous, and has C19 battlements. (Listed Building Report)
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This record last updated 02/07/2016 10:43:57