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St Quentins Castle, Llanblethian

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
St Quintins; Caer Dynnaf; Cowbridge

In the community of Cowbridge With Llanblethian.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: SS98917417
Latitude 51.45745° Longitude -3.45635°

St Quentins Castle, Llanblethian has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

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 ruinous rectilinear stone walled castle enclosure, c.64m east to west by 40-60m, at Llanblethian Castle is set on a spur above steep slopes above the River Thaw. The encience, with a twin-towered gatehouse and two other towers on the east, and the entrance facade are thought to be early fourteenth century. A rectangular tower within is believed to be earlier. The castle is first mentioned 1234 and is believed to have been established around 1102. It was ruinous by 1741 (Coflein)

About 450m NE of Llanblethian church on spur of land above loop in River Thaw.
Although known as St Quintin's Castle, after the first Lords of Llanblethian, the St Quintin family were dispossessed in 1233 by Richard Siward, upon whose outlawry in 1245, the castle passed to Richard de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan. Only the ruinous keep of C12 can be associated with the St Quintin family. The gatehouse belongs with the newly fortified enclosure probably begun circa 1312 by Gilbert III de Clare, killed at Bannockburn in 1314. There are stylistic links with Caerphilly castle. From C15 onwards castle was used as a prison.
Gatehouse (set forward from curtain wall) in local grey lias stone with dressings of buff Sutton stone. Central Gothic archway (provision for portcullis) flanked by towers with splayed corners. Cruciform arrow loops at ground floor level, most of dressed stone from windows and upper loops lost. Smaller arch in rear face of gatehouse. The remains of the curtain wall enclose an irregular quadrilateral about 52m by 50m; foundations of towers at angles N and S of gatehouse, and turret to NW. In centre of enclosure, remains of C12 keep. (Listed Building Report)

The castle was originally built c1312., although an earlier castle on the site is indicated by a large overgrown mound of rubble marking the remains of a large rectangular keep, presumably raised in the 12th century by the St Quintins, the early lords of Llanblethian. It is situated at the end of a spur with steep natural defences on all sides except the east. It is now partly destroyed/ruinous. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Mainly early C14 remains of a large courtyard castle, including a massive twin-towered gatehouse. Probably built by Gilbert de Clare (the Last, d. 1314). (CADW)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 20/04/2017 05:13:51