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Kidwelly Castle

This castle is one of Wales's best kept secrets. Kidwelly, on a steep bluff overlooking the River Gwendraeth, presents a vision of medieval times which is more complete than many of its more celebrated contemporaries. The castle is remarkably well preserved. Its soaring twin towered gatehouse stands almost to its full height, the masthead of a powerful concentric "walls within walls" design.

Kidwelly's impressive initial appearance is not deceptive. Once through the gatehouse there are more massive walls and round towers protecting a central core. The castle was founded by the Normans as an earth and timber stronghold in 1106 to consolidate their gains in south-west Wales. The strategic site easily chose itself. The castle crowns a prominent ridge and would have had access to the sea, thus forming a link in a chain of new strongholds controlling a major coastal route. In its early form it was vulnerable to Welsh attack. In the 13th century it was rebuilt in stone largely as the fortress we see today.

Kidwelly's most arresting feature is undoubtedly its great gatehouse, completed in 1422 as the castle's chief strong point. As well as defending the entrance the gatehouse provided accommodation for the constable of the castle. Kidwelly was improved over the centuries, gradually assuming an increasingly domestic role with the addition of a new hall, kitchen and lodgings in more settled times. Kidwelly gives a complete insight into the evolution of the medieval fortress.

General Information:
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Disabled toilet facilities
  • Shop
  • Refreshments nearby
  • Guide dogs only allowed
  • Cycle stands
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Hearing loop

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    Kidwelly Castle Postcode for SatNav: SA17 5BQ


    +44 (0)1554 890 104
    +44 (0)1554 890 104

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