Grosmont Castle (Monmouthshire, Wales)
Updated: Jan 15, 2019
One of my favourite local castles! And part of the 'Three Castles', including Skenfrith and White Castle, based in the Monnow Valley.
Grosmont Castle was built shortly after the Norman Invasion by William FitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford, as a timber and earthwork structure. It became tied with White Castle and Skenfrith after an 1135 Welsh revolt by King Stephen, who restructured the lordship in the area and bought it under crown control to create the 'Three Castles' to help subdue the Welsh.
The castle that stands today was built by Hubert de Burgh after he was granted the castle in 1201, beginning with a new hall and then the curtain wall, gatehouse, and towers.
Edmund, the Earl of Lancaster, was given the Three Castles in 1267 and for many centuries they were held by the earldom, and later duchy, of Lancaster. A deerpark was maintained in the surrounding area and from the 14th century onwards either Henry of Lancaster or his son created a suite of high quality apartments, so it was a pretty nice place to live in!
The castle's final military role was during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr at the start of the 15th century, when it was besieged by Owain's son but relieved by an English force in 1405.
By 1538, Grosmont Castle had fallen into disuse and then into ruin. By 1563 its bridge had collapsed, the interior was in decay and its building materials inside had either been removed or were rotten. By 1613 was was completely ruinous and derelict.
In the present day the site is managed by CADW and free to access during daylight hours (although there's nothing to stop you wondering around at any time of the day). To get to the site, park nearby the Post Office in the village of Grosmont and follow the signs, it's just opposite and rather hard to miss!
Pictures were taken in February 2018
Castle Site Plan