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Penrice Castle

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Penrice Castle

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Penrice Castle is a castle near Penrice on the Gower Peninsula in the county of the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. It is the 13th century successor to a strong ringwork to the SouthEast known as the Mountybank. This was built by the de Penrice family who were originally given land at Penrice for their part in the Norman conquest of Gower. The last de Penrice married a Mansel in 1410 and so the castle and its lands passed to the Mansel family (who later bought Margam Park which they made their main seat whilst still retaining their Gower lands). The castle was damaged in the English civil war. Penrice Castle is on private land but can be viewed from nearby footpaths.

The stone castle is a large, very irregular hexagon with a round keep on the West side, to which were attached two other towers and a partial mantlet or chemise wall. At the NorthWest corner is a twin square towered gatehouse with another tower in the interior. The ground falls away steeply on the North, East, South and SouthWest sides where there are various other turrets, though not very scientifically disposed. The whole structure is now in a dangerous condition but the South wall can be seen from the footpath that runs past the 18th century mansion immediately to the South.

The 18th century mansion itself, built in the 1770s by the neo-classical architect Anthony Keck for Thomas Mansel Talbot of Margam and Penrice, is Grade 1 listed and one of the finest country houses in Wales. The surrounding park is also Grade 1 listed and was laid out by William Emes, a student of Capability Brown, when the mansion was built. The mansion is lived in by the Methuen-Campbell family, who are direct descendants of the de Penrice family (see above) and who have owned Penrice and the surrounding lands since the early 12th century.


 

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