Llandovery Castle
Llandovery Castle
A small ruin tower on the hill of a motte, built sometime around 1100. The castle was created by sculpting a natural hill to create a small bailey and a stone fortification. The first castle at Llandovery was probably the work of Richard fitzPons, beginning in 1116 or a bit earlier. FitzPons, a Norman lord, put a Welsh constable in charge of the castle, which might have been a dangerous choice, but his constable fiercely defended Llandovery from Welsh attack.
It then passed to Walter Clifford, but it was captured by Rhys ap Gruffudd in 1258. Rhys rebuilt the fortifications. Unfortunately, after Rhys's death his four sons fought over his lands, and Llandovery changed hands five times in only four years. In 1277 it was taken by John Giffard, who held it for King Edward I. Llandovery was briefly taken by Dafydd ap Gruffudd in his 1282 revolt, and again in 1287 Rhys ap Maredudd.

It was briefly garrisoned against Owain Glyndwr, and in 1401 pehaps the most somber event in the blood history of Llandovery took place when a Glyndwr sympathizer named Llewelyn ap Gruffudd Fychan was executed in the presence of Henry IV. Llewelyn's offence was to deliberately mislead Henry's troops. A striking statue of him stands on the castle motte (the stainless steel of the memorial striking a rather peculiar note beside the medieval castle ruins, it must be said).

The top of the motte is occupied by a tower and masonry walls. There are also foundation walls of a shell keep.