Dunraven Castle

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The walled gardens and tower above the salt cellar
Ice Tower, Dunraven Castle

Dunraven Castle (or in Welsh, Castell Dwnrhefn) was a mansion on the South Wales coast near Southerndown. The existing manor house was rebuilt as a castellated hunting lodge in the early 19th century and was extensively remodelled later in the century. The surviving parts of the house and its lands are Grade II listed buildings.


The site of the castle was the location for several earlier fortifications, the first of which is said to have been built by Arnold le Boteler (Butler) in the mid-12th century.[1] By the 16th century, a manor house owned by the Vaughan family stood on the site, its existence recorded by John Leland.[2]

In 1642 the house was sold to the Wyndham family. Thomas Wyndham of Dunraven was MP for Glamorgan from 1789 to his death in 1814. He rebuilt the manor house as a castellated hunting lodge in 1802–1806. The building was designed by his wife, although it was probably based on Clearwell Castle.[2]

The estate then passed to their daughter Caroline, who in 1810 had married the Irishman Windham Henry Quin (1782–1850), later 2nd Earl of Dunraven;[3] in 1815 he assumed the additional name of Wyndham in right of his wife, becoming Windham Wyndham-Quin.[4]

Caroline began remodelling the building in 1858; the central tower was replaced by a conservatory and the north and south wings were enlarged by Egbert Moxham.[2] It was inherited by Edwin Wyndham-Quin, 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, MP for Glamorganshire 1837–1851, and descendants. It was lived in until after the Second World War, having been used as a military hospital. The house was demolished in 1963. [5]

The castle's walled garden, gatehouse and several other structures survive[2] and are part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.[6]

Dunraven Castle prior to demolition.jpg


  1. ^ "A Brief History of Southerndown". St. Brides Major, Southerndown and Ogmore-by-Sea Community Website. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  2. ^ a b c d "Entrance gateway with flanking wall at Dunraven House – St Bride's Major – Vale of Glamorgan – Wales". www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  3. ^ A Governess in the Age of Jane Austen. The Journals and Letters of Agnes Porter, ed. Joanna Martin (London: Hambledon Press, 1998), p. 346. ISBN 1852851643
  4. ^ "QUIN (afterwards WYNDHAM QUIN), Windham Henry (1782–1850), of Adare, co. Limerick". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  5. ^ "BBC – Dunraven Castle – home of legends". BBC News. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  6. ^ "Glamorgan Heritage Coast". www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 April 2016.

Coordinates: 51°26′36″N 3°36′06″W / 51.4434°N 3.6018°W / 51.4434; -3.6018