The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
Trust Historic Environment Record
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Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 00624w Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Neath Unitary authority : Neath Port Talbot NGR : SS75369779 Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Castle Status : Scheduled Monument , listed building II*
Summary : One of two castles at Neath, this one built later, circa mid-12th century on the opposite side of the river. It's defensive role continued until the mid-17th century, thereafter used for recreational activities, while slowly decaying.
Description : Neath Castle occupies a strategic elevation on the east side of the Nedd river, at its lowest practicable crossing-point, about 6km NNE of its mouth. This river was tidal and navigable; the Roman road, the medieval Portway, which ran E-W across the lowlands, crossed the Nedd at this point. An earlier castle was first raised by Richard de Glanville in the 1120s, situated across the river, 600m west, within or close to a Roman fort, which had been dismantled by 1207. This second castle is not documented until mentioned in records dated 1183. It was destroyed during the 'Despenser War' in 1321, repaired in 1377, and continued to be used until the mid-17th century. By the 18th century the castle had become a recreational area, while the 19th century saw the castle largely hemmed in by industrial cottages set against its walls, except on the north flank where a Quaker's graveyard impeded such encroachments. Excavations by Neath Antiquarian Society of a building lying inside the N curtain wall and abutting the N tower of the C14th gate. Total length of bldg 45ft, found C14th floor. Cock-pit uncovered. See also GGAT field evaluation assessment 1993 and watching brief 1994
The Handley Partnership , HAAbase built heritage assessment system: Buildings at Risk database
GGAT Assessment of Neath Castle
GGAT watching brief Neath Castle
01/PM Desc Text/RCAHM/Invent III 1b/LM11
02/PM Note/Brooksby H/1972/Arch in Wales/no45 p31
05/PM Note/1973/Manning WH/Arch in Wales pp41 no56
04/PM Note/1971/Arch in Wales/no59 p28
03/PM Note/1970/Arch in Wales/no40
08/Desc Text/Cadw/ Full Management Report/2005/Copy in further information file