The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
Trust Historic Environment Record
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Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 00376m Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Bridgend Unitary authority : Bridgend NGR : SS90228007 Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Castle Status : Scheduled Monument , listed building II*
Summary : A mid 12th Cnt castle, consisting of a rectangular keep, part of the curtain wall and a Norman gateway. The interior is grassed over.
Description : A mid 12th Cnt castle, consisting of a rectangular keep, part of the curtain wall and a Norman gateway. The interior is grassed over.
The castle is situated on a steep hill on the west side of the River Ogmore, at the edge of a precipitous escarpment above the narrow floodplain. There is no trace of a ditch, and the medieval parish church lies immediately to the south of the castle site.
The first documentary evidence to Newcastle is in 1106. It was established by the first Norman lord of Glamorgan, Robert Fitzhamon, and is his only castle to the west of the River Ogmore, which otherwise marks his western boundary. Although there are no visible remains of earthworks belonging to this phase, the course of the later, stone curtain wall suggests that it was probably a ring work. The only internal structure that may survive is a round-cornered building in the southeastern corner of the ward, the walls of which were partly demolished in order to construct the curtain wall.
The castle was rebuilt in stone in 12th century, almost certainly either by Earl William(1147-83) or by Henry II who held the lordship of Glamorgan between 1183 and 1189. The surviving work is largely of this period, and consists of a D-shaped ward enclosed by a curtain wall which probably replaces an earlier ringwork, a south tower and a west tower, roughly the same size, both of which are square and straddle the curtain wall. Documentary evidence indicates that there was also a keep. In spite of the loss of the keep, Newcastle is the best surviving example of a 12th century castle in Wales, because of the virtual absence of later modifications. The most striking architectural feature is the gate, immediately to the east of the south tower. This is a simple opening and has facings in Sutton stone ashlar. The jambs and segemental arched head are ornmented by alternate sunk rectangular panels and strips of pellets, the whole being enclosed within a frame whose semi-circular arched head is embellished by a roll-moulding supported on attached columns with Norman capitals. The battered plinth to the curtain wall and towers was also originally faced in ashlar. Otherwise the fabric is in roughly coursed rubblework in the local sandstone.
Later insertions are a 13th century hall with a central hearth, and windows of 16th century style inserted into the south tower. The hall lies to the north of the round-cornered building. There are also remains of another building in the northern part of the bailey, but there is insufficient evidence to be able to date it.
RCAHMW , 1991 , An inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Volume III Part 1a Medieval secular monuments: The early castles
Ponsford assessment Newcastle and St Illtyd's Church 1996
02/PM Desc Text/DOE/1979/Mid Glam Imp Report/p.3.2.1
01/MM Record Card/OS/1957/SS 98 SW 16
07/PM Desc Text/RCAHM/1986/Invent I 1/no102
05/PH Mention/RISW/Arch Camb/1869 Vol1 ser4 pp199-201
08/PM Desc Text/RCAHM/1991/Invent III 1b/EM3
06/PM Desc Text/Smith EG/1936/Neath Ant Soc/pp48-9
04/PM Desc Text/Williams G/1973/An Illustrated Guide to Ancient Monuments in Wales 4/Middle Ages p75
03/MM Photo/GGAT/Lewis W/1979-80
09/PM List/Cadw/1995/Application for Scheduled Monument Consent
Events : E004426 : Newcastle Castle and St Illtyd's Church, Bridgend WB (year : 1996)