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Oxwich Castle

South Wales

This "castle by the sea" stands in a lovely spot on a wooded headland above Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsular. It is a castle in name only. Although probably occupying the site of an early fortification, Oxwich is a grand Tudor manor house built in courtyard style. Oxwich, the product of the peaceful and prosperous 16th century, was first and foremost intended to provide sumptuous accommodation.

Its creator, Sir Rice Mansel, gave his fine new home a mock military gateway (complete, of course, with family coat of arms), much in the way that the status-conscious industrialists of the 19th century created mansions for themselves in the shape of sham castles. Sir Rice's work, which was confined to the southern block, spanned the 1520s and 30s. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Edward Mansel, who proceeded to create the much grander multi-storeyed eastern range around 1560-80, which contained an impressive hall and elegant long gallery, a fashionable Elizabethan feature.

The south-east tower, which still survives to six storeys, would have provided extensive accommodation for the family and their many servants. For all its great aspirations, Oxwich was shortlived. After the Mansels moved out in the 1630s their home gradually fell into disrepair though the south range was used as a farmhouse.

General Information:
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • On-site exhibition
  • Dogs on leads allowed

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    A4118, 11 miles SW of Swansea in Oxwich village.

    Oxwich Castle Postcode for SatNav: SA3 1NG


    +44 (0)1792 390 359
    +44 (0)1792 390 359

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