Weobley Castle, Gower, Glamorgan
7 miles West of Gowerton
Perched above Llanrhidian marshes and the stark north Gower shoreline, Weobley has a haunting beauty about it. The 'castle' is best described as a later medieval fortified manor house, combining domestic comfort with a degree of much-needed 13th century security. Planned on a relatively small scale, it is a tight group of buildings with a strong tower, originally perhaps free standing and now largely ruined, at the south-west corner of the central courtyard. To the north of the tower was a gate-passage, the only defence being a pair of stout wooden doors.
~ History ~
1304 - The powerful Tuberville family grant land adjacent to Weobley to David de la Bere, steward to the lord of Gower. Building of Weobley starts around this time.
1306 - The lord of Gower, William de Braose III issues a 'charter of liberties' in which Weobley is described as one of twelve 'ancient knights fees', whose lord enjoys a privileged position within the Norman Marcher lordship of Gower.
1318 - A deed is witnessed and signed by an Adam de la Bere at Weobley castle.
1397 - A document of this year records that Sir John de la Bere, who died nine years earlier, is in possession of Weobley castle.
1403 - Established authority in Gower collapses during the nationwide uprising sparked off by the revolt of Owain Glyndwr. The steward from nearby Kidwelly castle reports that there is overwhelming support in Gower for Glyndwr. Sir John de la Bere's son, another John, is killed during this uprising in which Weobley castle is attacked and damaged.
1410 - The castle is reported to have been destroyed by the Welsh, but remains in the hands of the de la Bere family.
1432 - The last of the de la Bere heirs loses possession of Weobley castle.
1480's - The lordship of Weobley passes to Sir Rhys ap Thomas - the most powerful Welshman of his day. Henry VII also grants Rhys many important offices in south Wales as a reward for his support at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.
1500's - Sir Rhys, recorded at the time as 'lord of Gwibli', initiates a programme of building at Weobley befitting his position as a major early Tudor magnate.
1525 - Sir Rhys dies.
1531 - Sir Rhys's grandson, Rhys ap Gruffudd is executed for treason. Weobley passes to the Crown.
1560 - The lordship is sold to Sir William Herbert, earl of Pembroke.
1666 - The medieval role of Weobley as a home for its lord is long over. By this time, Weobley is leased out and serves as a farmhouse. A survey records that the tenants occupy farm buildings by the 'decayed castle'. In the same year it is sold to Sir Edward Mansel of Margam, later passing to the Talbot family.