Beaupre Castle, Glamorgan
St Athan Road
Old Beaupre Castle is far from an easy castle to get to, so don't expect your SatNav to take you to this fabulous fortified manor.
Access to this fortified manor house is from a poorly signposted public footpath across a field where there is limited parking for no more than 3 cars by the side of the road.
As you walk across the field down the gentle valley of the river Thaw, this rustic medieval and then Tudor manor house, comes into view.
The medieval part dates from about 1300, consisted of a group of buildings loosely arranged around the southernmost, or inner court. In the 16th century an extensive program of rebuilding was undertaken, started by Sir Rice Mansel, continued by William Bassett and finished by his son Richard. These are remarkably well preserved, despite the ruinous state of most of the buildings around them. They demonstrate the Bassetts' wealth and pretensions to grandeur, as was doubtless their intention at the time. The heraldic panels and inscriptions on each leave no doubt as to who built them.
You will enter over a stile in the walled outer court and pass through a great wooden door in the gatehouse.
Once inside there is plenty to explore with some fabulous noteworthy features, especially on the decorative porch, its fireplaces and windows. A terrific castle well worth the short walk.
~ History ~
1300 ~ A fortified manor house is built by the Basset family.
1500's ~ Intensive remodelling is undertaken, started by Sir Rice Mansel, continued by William Basset and completed by William's son, Richard.
1586 ~ The impressive outer gatehouse is completed.
1600 ~ The three-storeyed Renaissance porch is finished, along with luxurious accommodation with large windows, handsome fireplaces and a fine stone stairway.
1700's ~ The Basset inheritance eventually passes to the Jones family. The Jones family decide not to settle in Beaupre Castle and choose to use the smaller and more convenient mansion of New Beaupre.
1709 ~ By the time Beaupre is sold, it is in a state of disrepair with only part of it still habitable.