~ History ~
1070's ~ A timber castle is built by Robert de Umfreville. His second son Gilbert is born at Penmark castle. The castle is one of two castles built to protect the territories gained by the Norman conquest into Wales, the other being Fonmon Castle.
1300's ~ Oliver de St John obtains the castle when he marries Elizabeth Umfraville, the young heiress to the castle and manor.
1402 ~ The castle is destroyed by Owain Glyndwr's Welsh forces during the rebellion against the English Crown.
1656 ~ The ruined castle is sold to Colonel Phillip Jones, a leading Parlimentarian.
Penmark village centre, Barry.
Penmark Castle is set within a picturesque village of the same name. We parked in the pub car park opposite and walked across to the gate from where you can get a good view of the castle.
You can see the grounds are well tendered which indicates private ownership and should be respected as such.
On the day of our visit we were in luck as we were granted permission to look round the ruins, which are quite considerable and quite impressive.
The castle dates back to the 13th century. The moat has long been filled in but there are extensive footings on the east side of the court and on the west side are overgrown ruins of a tower. The walls still stand to a good height, albeit covered in ivy and undergrowth.