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St Georges Castle

In the community of St Georges-super-Ely.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST09877679
Latitude 51.48133° Longitude -3.30029°

St Georges Castle has been described as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Castle Farm, St.George's is an impressive late-medieval first-floor hall. It consists of a main block of the 15th century with a small annex of the 18th century to the E. The name, tradition, and the consistent claims of antiquarians from Leland to G.T.Clark, suggest that it was raised within a castle which formerly occupied the site. Such a castle appears to be confirmed by the particularly thick N. and W. walls of Castle Farm, and the eroded earthworks and footings in the field to the W. of the house. (Coflein)

In the centre of the small hamlet of St Georges, which is about 0.5 m from the church; the River Ely runs along the N side.
Believed to incorporate part of the old Norman castle of Le Fleming - a branch of the family acquired the manor in 1314 - the massively thick masonry at N and W being defensive in origin. RCAHMW believes the main block was built in the angle formed by the outer and cross walls of the early castle structure. Passed to the Malefant family, then to the Crown. Re-planned in C15, from which time dates most of the masonry of the main block, to provide a rich banqueting hall and chamber. At this time the primary accommodation on the first floor would have been divided into a hall in 3 bays open to the roof, a solar at the N (river) end and a chamber at S end with loft over. Granted in 1550 to William Herbert. Altered and extended C18 with the building of the E annex wing. Became part of the Coedarhydyglyn estate owned by the Traherne family. Further modified in C19 by antiquarian Revd John Montgomery Traherne who substituted hammer beam truss for original partition wall which had divided a 3-bay hall and a 2-bay chamber. The N traceried window lighting the solar is also thought by RCAHMW and Newman to be an antiquarian adaptation or addition; possibly also the lancet at S, though the top-floor S window may be an original C15 feature. Frontage windows and some of the windbraces also re-made at this time. RCAHMW additionally believes the external stairs to be an adaptation relating to the use of the hall as granary with access through a former window; the original stairs were possibly at E.
Main feature of the interior is the magnificent first floor hall with C15 timber roof of 4-bays and 2 half-bays, one at each end, the principals have arched braces to collar beams and alternate principals have hammer beams with carved hammer braces on timber corbels; 2 purlins with cusped wind-braces between. The wooden floor of the hall is raised at upper end. In the side wall is a fireplace with fine freestone surround: a square head with canopy hood slightly projecting carried on corbel brackets and with a double-roll moulding along the top edge of the opening, round the radius of each corbel and down the front edge of each jamb; a relieving arch above. Plain chamfered fireplace to former solar. Walls are limewashed part rendered stone; evidence of blocking on roadside wall. Tudor-archway at lower end . On the ground floor, doorway leads to living room with one massive cross beam and boarded ceiling, fireplace in rear wall; access to lobby, formerly the cross passage between parlour and kitchen with doors at each end, at front the original main entrance; kitchen at far end also has massive cross beams, both sets supporting the hall floor. Living room in the annex wing opens off the small hallway which also gives access to the staircase tucked behind the gable end wall, Georgian, with stick balusters and ramped handrail, also matching door surrounds. Bedrooms lead off on the 2 upper floors of the 3-storey section. First floor bedroom casement windows set in stone frames open inwards; one cross beam, fireplace in side wall. One attic window is divided by the later stairs. Cellar with access to stream.
Medieval castle, converted to a manor house and then a farmhouse. Random rubble, slate roofs, eaves end gables; stone end stacks with cornices and 2 tall massive square rubble stacks rising from rear eaves, the right external. Two storeys, with projecting wing to left of frontage. Windows mostly C16/17 style, 2-light stone mullioned casements with chamfered surrounds, 4-centred lights, spandrels and dripmoulds, some with leaded quarries, some with glazing bars. Thick-walled fabric to rear wing and a single lancet in the E end elevation of C13 / C14 date. Front is L-shaped, the later left wing projecting, gabled to sides; 2-light ground floor window; on the return to right windows are on 2 upper storeys, paired to first floor; blocked to ground floor. Main hall range is battered; small porch at angle, 2 windows to first floor and 3 to ground floor; blocked opening over ground floor centre, the former entrance. Rear elevation has a Tudor-arched doorway on the upper floor of the rear wing reached by a flight of stone steps parallel with the wall giving access to the former banqueting hall. Side uphill elevation is double-pile: left gable end has ground and first floor modern casements under timber lintels; top floor retains a window of 3 chamfered mullioned lights. Central lancet between the 2 wings; the right windowless but with full length external stack. Side downhill elevation is heavily battered and has upper left 2-light mullioned window with triple tracery light; saddleback coping to gable. Attached is a low embattled stone garden wall extending along river bank; at right angles, not now continuous, is the rubble wall forming the front inner courtyard with wrought iron gate. (Listed Building Report)

The castle of St George's, though now in ruins appears to have been a structure of great size. The lines of the foundations can still be traced beneath the grass. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Leland wrote "The castle is now the king's: and one Roger Herbert a bastard dwellith in it".
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016