Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Abergavenny Castle (Abergavenny)

Abergavenny Castle is an extensive ruin in the Welsh town of Abergavenny.

It was founded by Hamelin de Ballon in the late 11th century, and consisted originally of a timber structure on a mound, surrounded by a stockade. Before long the timber was replaced by stone.

The castle passed to the de Braose family in the reign of Henry II, and it was at this time that a most shocking act of revenge took place.

The cousin of William de Braose had been killed by Sitsyllt, the leder of the local Welsh Dyfnwal tribe. In 1175 de Braose invited Sitsyllt, with his warriors and other lords, to Christmas feast. During the meal all the guests were murdered, after which de Braose and his followers went to nearby Castle Arnold, Sitsyllt`s home, where they killed his wife and son.

In 1405, the castle`s constable was put to death by a local mob, and in 1645 Charles I ordered it to be destroyed, to prevent it falling into the hands of the Scots.

The remaining gatehouse dates from the 15th century, and the building known as the keep from 1819.

There is a small local museum on the site.

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