Castell Bryn Amlwg, Shropshire
Nr Anchor, 10m NW of Knighton
Castell Bryn Amlwg is a very remote 12th century frontier castle for the Marcher lords of Clun, on the extreme English and Welsh border. The castle was once known as Castell Coch or Ruthin Castle, derived from Rhudd-din or 'red fort' from its red sandstone walls. Today the grass covered mounds and ditches only hint at the stone castle that once commanded the valley floor below overlooking the river which remains the border between England and Wales. Some masonary traces can still be found of this lovely forgotten castle.
Access to the castle is best from a minor road off the B4368 where you can park with due consideration just beneath the castle, leaving plenty of room near the gate at the bottom of the track, and walk up the slope across the fields.
~ History ~
1080's ~ The Lordship of Clun is established by Picot de Say to control the frontier lands that have been granted to him by Roger Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury.
1140's ~ During the turbulent reign of King Stephen, Helias de Say and his neighbouring Lord Hugh Mortimer, carry out a series of vicious cross border attacks against the Welsh. To establish a foothold on the border as an outpost to Clun castle, Helias has Castell Bryn Amlwg built.
1155 ~ To reinforce Helias de Say's influence across the Welsh March, his daughter is married to William Fitzalan, Lord of Oswestry.
1160 ~ Following William Fitzalan's death the lands are held by the Crown during the minority of his heir. Over the next five years £216 is spent on the Fitzalan castles of Oswestry, Clun and Bryn Amlwg.
1233 ~ Llywelyn the Great, prince of Wales forces overun much of the Fitzalan lands in a concerted campaign which see's Castell Bryn Amlwg captured.
1270's ~ Llywleyn's grandson, Llywelyn's the Last, also prince of Wales, retains control of much of Fitzalan border lands which includes Castell Bryn Amlwg. The castle is never again garrisoned against the Welsh and is eventually allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.