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Kenfig Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kengfig; Kinefeage; Kenefeg

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SS80098269
Latitude 51.53028° Longitude -3.73000°

Kenfig Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The scanty remains of Kenfig Castle, a once great medieval fortress, rise from the dunes beside the Cynfig river. The castle was established in the early twelfth century by the lord of Glamorgan and was set at the northern end of a walled borough (NPRN 15335). The castle was several times assaulted and ravaged and was greatly altered and added to in the late thirteenth century. It was maintained throughout the fourteenth century but was ruinous by the early sixteenth. The borough became besanded through the fifteenth century. The site was excavated in 1924-32. The castle was set on a low knoll washed by the river on the west and north. It originally consisted of a roughly circular embanked and palisaded court some 37m across, enclosing a magnificent square-plan tower as well as a hall and its offices. The facades of the 14m square tower were articulated by slim dressed stone buttresses at the corners and centre of each side. It would have risen high above the court dominating the borough skyline. In about 1300 the castle was substantially reconstructed. The rampart was thrown down to level up the court and a stout curtain wall was built in its stead with a large masonry gatehouse facing into the borough. The tower was also reconstructed and its south-west wall completely rebuilt. (Coflein–ref. RCAHMW, 1991)

The dating of Kenfig Castle is not clear. The town & castle have been burned several times. It continued in good repair until 1405 when it was dismantled. Earliest mention of castle is 1185 AD (sub anno 1893). The structure included the Keep astride to the rampart of pebbles and a large bailey (about 8 acres). Square with rounded corners, sides about 198 yrds long. It appears that later the castle was repaired and used as a local gaol. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument consists of the remains of a fortified medieval town and castle. Ramparts comprising a bank and ditch define the town enclosure at the south west and the north east angles forming a roughly quadrangular enclosure of about 3.34 ha. The rampart disappears to the south under the large dunes over the south west quarter of the town. To the north it ends in front of the south end of a building. In the south west area of the town, the rampart re-emerges from the dunes and runs straight for 76m to the south west, fronted by a wide ditch. The castle keep is c. 14x15m, with a 2 m. wide entrance at the south west corner. The walls are composed of stone and pebbles and are c. 2 m. thick. They stand 3-4m. The south side is the lowest, with an external height of 1-2 m. and internal height of 2.5 m. The north wall is the best preserved with an internal height of 3m and with intact gun loop. South of the keep is a complex of low walls. (Scheduling Report)
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This record last updated 11/07/2017 09:51:51