Coity Castle, Mid Glamorgan
2 miles North East of Bridgend
Coity castle is located on a low ridge with far reaching views over the Vale of Glamorgan. The earliest earth-and-timber stronghold was gradually rebuilt in stone and, by the sixteenth century, the castle could offer sumptuous accommodation as well as security. In its day Coity was one of the finest castles in the Southern March.
Tradition has it that the Norman builder of Coity, Payn de Turberville, married the heiress of the earlier Welsh lords and thereby secured the lands without bloodshed.
The castle is located on the bend and junction of the road in the village centre. With consideration you can park near the church where there is a path that takes you to the castle.
For a lesser Welsh castle there is plenty to see and explore at Coity.
Well worth a visit.
~ History ~
1090's - Following the death of the Welsh prince Rhys ap Tewdwr, King William II grants lands in what is soon to become the lordship of Glamorgan to his trusted courtier, Robert fitzhamon.
1100's - Simple earth and timber castles such as Coity are soon established throughout the Norman occupied lands.
1180's - Payn be Turberville builds the square stone keep at Coity castle in response to the Welsh uprising of 1183-84.
1300's - Coity becomes the main stronghold of the Turberville family whose other castles are nearby Ogmore & Newcastle. As a result the outer ward is enclosed with a masonry wall, itself incorporating a series of square or rectangular towers. A new middle gate to serve as the new entrance from the outer to the inner ward, provides a stronger defensive feature as well as improving the approach to the heart of the castle. The Norman keep and other domestic building are greatly improved.
1316 - The death of the powerful Norman lord Gilbert de Clare see's Payn de Turberville briefly become custodian of the Glamorgan lordship. It is Payn's unsympathetic handling of the native Welsh in upland Glamorgan which incites the furious rebellion led by Llywelyn Bren.
1380's - By the time the castle passes to Sir Lawrence Berkerolles, son of one of the Turberville co-heiresses, Coity has become a splendid fortified mansion, fit even for King Richard II who stays here in September 1394 en route for Ireland.
1402-05 - Both Coity & Ogmore suffer serious damage as a result of the Welsh uprising led by Owain Glyn Dwr. In September 1405 King Henry IV leads a relief force himself to come to the aid of Coity. However, due to atrocious weather it proves to be a total failure.
1400's - The Gamage family succeed the Turberville's through the marriage of William Gamage to the fourth daughter of Payn de Turberville III. Their grandson becomes the first of that family to hold Coity.
1500's - The Gamage family continue to make modest improvements to Coity and are succeeded by the Sidney's, through the marriage of Barbara Gamage to Robert Sidney. The castle sees no action during the civil wars of the 1640's and by the time ownership passes on to the earl of Dunraven, it is described as 'extensive and magnificent even in its ruins'.