Dinas Powys Castle, Glamorgan
The Lettons Way, Dinas Powys
A succession of settlers and invaders over the centuries have taken advantage of this naturally defendable site. Few castles can trace their remains back to Iron-Age, Roman, Dark Age, Saxon and Norman forifications better than Dinas Powys.
This multi-purpose site lies at the eastern end of the Vale of Glamorgan, one end of the hill having been fortified in the early Christian period by a bank and ditch dating from the 5th to the 7th century.
To find Dinas Powys Castle take the A4055 Cardiff to Barry road towards Dinas Powys.
Once at the village find The Lettons Way.
The path up to this overgrown and hidden castle can be found on right-hand side.
Today the castle is almost completely lost under extensive undergrowth, but all this adds to the sense of discovering something lost.
The walls are still quite substantial as is the area it covers, with remains of stone walls traceable with care through the thick undergrowth and woodland. A fascinating ancient place well worth exploring, if you don't mind the thorns and tangled roots.
~ History ~
1100's ~ The Norman de Somery family make Dinas Powys their principle seat to secure their lands in South Wales.
1190's ~ A high defensible courtyard wall is built as an addition to the stone keep and deep ditches, replacing the timber pallisades.
1194 ~ Dudley Castle in Staffordshire becomes the principle seat of the Somery family, resulting in no further work or repairs being made to the castle.
1222 ~ King Henry III orders the castle to be handed over to Gilbert de Clare, who had already made an attempt to take it from the Earl of Pembroke by force.
1322 ~ The castle's importance declines when the de Sumery male line comes to an end. The castle passes to the Sutton's who in turn later sell the castle to Sir Matthew Cradock.
1400's ~ The end to the Welsh uprising under Owain Glyndwr further reduces the need for a fortified site at Dinas Powys.
1536 ~ A survey records the castle as "al in ruine".