Castell Tinboeth, Powys
Llanbister, 9m NE of Llandrindod Wells
Castell Tinboeth is a fabulous but often forgotten castle built on a steep ridge high above the River Irthon inside an ancient iron age hillfort, with stunning views of the countryside in all directions. The castle was built in the thirteenth century by the most powerful and long-lasting dynasties to rule the Welsh Marches - the Mortimers of Wigmore.
Access to the castle is via a very steep climb from the road below where you can park in a layby. Across from the layby you will find the start of the tree covered track that will take you to the top of the hill and eventually bearing right once you are out of the woodland, onto the high outer banks and ditches of the castle.
~ History ~
1075 ~ Ralph Mortimer I is granted a porton of the earl of Hereford's border lands after the Earls unsuccessful rebellion against William the Conqueror. The Earl's castle at Wigmore becomes the Mortimer's seat and springboard into Wales for further conquests.
1093 ~ In a great offensive against the Welsh Ralph builds a new frontier motte-and-bailey castle at Cwm Aran as the main Norman power base in the region. For the next hundred years this castle is fought over, captured, destroyed and rebuilt.
1200 ~ The hard fought Welsh territory is finally under Mortimer control.
1230 ~ With the rise in power of prince Llywelyn the Great and the serious threat this brings to all Mortimer gains in Wales, a marriage is made between Llywelyn's daughter Gwladys Du with Ralph Mortimer. As Llywelyn being the major native power in all of Wales and his wife Joan Plantagenet, being the daughter of King John of England, this marriage secures Mortimer interests in the contests Welsh Marches.
1242 ~ The conquest of the Middle March following the death of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth is secured when Ralph Mortimer is summoned to Gascony in all haste. In his absence his eldest son Roger, just 11 years of age, continues his work, finishing the new castle of Cefnllys.
1282 ~ Following the death of Llywelyn's grandson, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, as the last prince of Wales, the Marcher lords push forward further into Wales. The Mortimer's have a new frontier castle constructed to protect their newely acquired lands.
Castle Tinboeth is now fully operational, garrisoned with 30 men and 5 horses at £13 16s 9d. Roger's son William Mortimer is lord of the new castle. No supporting town is developed at the castle nor any comfort built into this stark border castle.
1322 ~ Tinboeth Castle is amongst the discraced Mortimer possessions that are surrendered to King Edward II following Roger Mortimer's rebellion and subsequent imprisonment. The Mortimer estates are eventually restored to the family but later confiscated eight years later when Roger is executed for his part in the downfall and execution of King Edward II.
Castle Tinboeth is allowed to slip into obscurity due to its remote and isolated location and the need for a a frontier military base much reduced following the conquest of Wales.