Llansteffan Castle

Remains of Llansteffan Castle

Here the Wales Coast Path goes around the headland topped by Llansteffan Castle. The castle is open to the public on most days of the year and is a short walk up the hill from the coast path.

The castle is one of few in Wales known to be on the same site as a prehistoric fort. A fort was built here c.600BC, probably for control of the crossing point of the river Tywi. The steep slope on the east side formed a natural defence. The other three sides were probably defended by banks and ditches.

The medieval castle obliterated much of the Iron Age earthworks but some have survived, west of the castle.

Work on the castle is thought to have started c.1112, only a few decades after the Norman conquest. Members of the powerful Camville family held the castle for over 200 years, except for several periods when Welsh rulers – including Lord Rhys and Llywelyn Fawr – captured it.

The gatehouse, along with most of the other larger structures whose ruins you can see today, date from the 13th century, when the Camvilles reinforced the castle.

The Welsh took the castle, yet again, in the early 15th century during the rebellion of Owain Glynd┼Ár. Later that century the castle belonged to the state, under Pembroke-born King Henry VII. Some of the surviving decorative features relate to the castle’s use as a home in the 16th century.

The castle is now looked after by Cadw.

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Visitor information – Cadw website

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