Builth Castle

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Builth Castle

Builth Castle (Welsh: Castell Llanfair-ym-Muallt) was a castle built under King Edward I, just outside Builth Wells, Powys, Wales. At one time it was an impressive stone-built castle but all the masonry has been removed over the years and all that remains are the mound on which it stood, the ditches and embankments.


Builth Castle was erected in 1277, the first castle to be built by King Edward I in Wales. The site chosen was a pre-existing motte-and-bailey castle with a motte surrounded by two baileys, all surrounded by a further boundary wall. This older castle had already changed hands several times as the Normans and Welsh fought for supremacy in these parts, and the small town of Builth had sprung up nearby. In 1260 the old castle was taken and largely destroyed by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. It is not clear how much of the original structure was still there when Edward I started building his stone castle.[1] Construction started in May 1277,[2] and continued until August 1282, when the castle was left unfinished for lack of money.[3] This was because Llywelyn ap Gruffudd had been killed and Edward had changed his priorities because he wanted to concentrate on his invasion of Gwynedd. Records show that the total cost of the castle was £1,666, a comparatively modest sum because the earthworks were already present on the site.[1]

The castle was besieged in 1294 during the revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn, and attacked by Owain Glyndŵr's forces during his revolt in the early 15th century,[4] when it was in the charge of John Oldcastle. It was repaired in 1409, the bill being £400.[5]

Nowadays, only the impressive mound, embankments and ditches remain but all the stonework has vanished (removed by the local populace to build their dwellings) and it is difficult to imagine the impressive stone castle that once stood here.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adrian Pettifer (2000). Welsh Castles: A Guide by Counties. Boydell & Brewer. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0-85115-778-8.
  2. ^ Taylor, Arnold. The Welsh Castles of Edward I. The Hambledon Press, 1986, p. 3
  3. ^ Taylor, Arnold. The Welsh Castles of Edward I. The Hambledon Press, 1986, p. 4
  4. ^ "Builth Castle". Castlewales.com. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  5. ^ Taylor, Arnold. The Welsh Castles of Edward I. The Hambledon Press, 1986, p. 7
  6. ^ Hull, Lise (2009). "Builth Castle". Castles of Wales. Retrieved 10 April 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°08′57″N 3°23′55″W / 52.14919°N 3.39855°W / 52.14919; -3.39855