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Pencoed Castle, Llanmartin

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Map ReferenceST48NW
Grid ReferenceST4061189413
Unitary (Local) AuthorityNewport
Old CountyMonmouthshire
Type Of SiteCASTLE
PeriodPost Medieval
Pencoed Castle is a substantial courtyard castle, now derelict and abandoned. Parts are completely ruined, other parts have been partially restored, chiefly the range on the east side of the courtyard. The castle was probably first built in the early thirteenth century by Sir Richard de la More, but of this phase only the round tower in the south-west corner of the courtyard remains. Most of the surviving castle dates from the first half of the sixteenth century, when the castle was owned by Sir Thomas Morgan and his successors. Leland, in 1538, called it 'a fair Maner place'. There is a three-storey entrance gatehouse on the west side of a rectangular courtyard, which is surrounded by a ruined curtain wall on the west and south sides. There are very partial remnants of a curtain wall on the north side. To the north of the gatehouse there was originally a gabled building butting against the gatehouse. The main residential block was along the eastern side of the courtyard. This stands largely intact and partially restored. Close to the north side of the castle stands a twentieth century house, probably built in the 1920s by Eric Francis. Originally the castle was surrounded by a moat (filled in on the north and east sides), and the remains of this are visible on the west and south sides.

The castle's history was uneventful, and it changed hands several times and was neglected from 1751 until it was bought just before the First World War by Lord Rhondda. He intended to restore it and started work with the architect G.H. Kitchen. But work stopped at the outbreak of war, and was resumed by Lady Rhondda and her daughter in 1919, with the architect Eric Francis. However, work was again abandoned, and in 1931 the Rhonddas sold the castle, since when it has been neglected.

RCAHMW, February 2011