St Donats Castle

St Donats Castle, Glamorgan

~ History ~


1298 ~ Peter de Stratelinges, a Swiss who already commands Neath Castle marries Joan, daughter of Thomas de Halweia of St Donats.


1300 ~ Following the death of Peter Stradling, it is Joan, his son and her second husband John de Pembridge, who complete the rebuilding of the stone castle, to replace the earlier timber castle.


Edward Stradling is twice awarded the title of Sheriff of Glamorgan and his wife Gwenllian Berkerolles inherits Coity Castle.


1423 ~ Their grandson also named Edward, marries a daughter of King Henry VI's great uncle Cardinal Beaufort and becomes Chamberlain of South Wales.


1453 ~ Edward dies on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, four years after his son Henry is captured by the pirate Colyn Dolphyn while sailing to Wales from Somerset and had to be ransomed.

Henry marries Elizabeth Herbert of Raglan Castle and their son Thomas dies young, leaving a widow who marries Sir Rhys ap Thomas. Sir Rhys becomes guardian of Edward, the heir, later infamous for his numerous and lawless illegitimate sons.


1525 ~ Inner courtyard buildings and extensions are completed.


1611 ~ John Stradling is made a baronet by King James I, despite the family having remained faithful to the Roman church at the Reformation


1648 ~ The Stradlings support the Royalist cause in the English Civil War, leading the Royalist army at the defeat at St Fagans. As a result of this the family are awarded larges fines exacted by Cromwell in in retribution.


1738 ~ The Stradlings line dies out as the last male heir is killed in a duel at Montpellier in France. The estate passes to his cousin Bussey, 4th Baron Mansell or Morgam.


1755 ~ The estates are enheritted by Sir John Tyrrwhitt. His heirs neglet the castle.


1803 ~ Due to lack of repair and maintenance the caste is now only partly habitable. The castle's condition deteriorated until it was bought in 1862 by Dr. John Nicholl-Carne for £5000.


The castle was commandeered for training of army officers during the war and then in 1960 was taken over by an international school called Atlantic College, which is still thriving there.

Location

Near Cowbridge, South of Bridgend

Road

Off B4265

SatNav

CF61 1WF

St Donat's Castle is thought to have originated in the twelfth century and has been continuously occupied until the present day.


The castle stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Bristol Channel with the terraced gardens descending to the sea on the south side. The village was originally at the gate and round the church but it was moved away in the 19th century.


The castle was commandeered for training of army officers during the war and then in 1960 was taken over by an international school called Atlantic College, which is still thriving there.


Access to the castle is restricted by apopointment only as it is still a working college.