Hey everyone, welcome back to our walking tour series of south wales, we finished up our trio of castles in the Monmouthshire area or The three castles walk as its known and have brought you to explore around White Castle. Join us as we take a stroll around and delve into what makes this Castle worth visiting.
Nestled in a secluded spot of great beauty, White Castle was an unexpected surprise. Originally constructed from wood and earth, a series of renovations transformed it into the significant defensive structure we see today. Its medieval name might derive from the white rendering used on its masonry. The large outer ward is as big as a football pitch, while the pear-shaped inner ward sits behind a deep, steep-sided, water-filled moat.
Many of these features are thought to be the work of the Lord Edward who later was known as King Edward I who took possession of the Three Castles in 1254. The modifications at White Castle, which was his first Welsh castle, can be seen as a forerunner of the mighty fortresses he would go on to build in north Wales.
It may also be the oldest of the trio and built on a hill with magnificent views to north, south and west and lacking any high-status accommodation White Castle was the most military focused of the Three Castles.
The earthworks of White Castle compromise three separate enclosures. In the center is the pear-shaped inner ward, surrounded by a wet moat with stone sides aswell as containing the walls and towers of the main defences . On the north – the side from which you can approach the castle – is an outer ward with its own stone curtain wall, towers, and a well preserved gatehouse. Some traces of its defensive bank can be seen on the ground, but it is much clearer when seen in an aerial photograph.
One of the great things about the castle is that the outer bailey defences are largely intact, and form an impressive stronghold in their own right. At most other Norman castles in Wales outer bailey defences have long since disappeared, which is why it is such a treat to see the remains at White Castle.. There were towers at various points along the walls that were manned by archers, and the ward had its own gatehouse, the entrance to the castle complex today. Some of the original arrowloops of the wall-towers remain which are well worth looking out for.
A high curtain wall connects the castle’s six large, round towers. The two front towers form the 13th-century gatehouse and the 12th-century curtain apparently survives to its original height. Access to the castle was via a drawbridge over the moat, which surely would have been drawn up in times of attack. Today, much of the moat is still filled with water, giving us an idea of what one would have faced in attempting to storm this challenging fortress. Either that or to sit and gaze at the beauty that surrounds the castle with its lovely mountain range in the background, this is the kind of place that is ideal for a picnic or having fun with family and friends as the grounds here are huge and what more could you want than a castle backdrop?
If you are doing the three castles, be it by walking the trail or using transport, we highly recommend dropping into White castle on your visit, it’s free to enter and you wont be disappointed. If you’ve enjoyed joining us wander around White castle be sure to give us a thumbs up and if you aren’t subscribed to the channel why not consider hitting that button today? Thank you so much for walking with us, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next adventure to Caerphilly castle in our next video! Till next time.