History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The parallels between Ogmore and Oystermouth do not stop there; just as at Ogmore, William de Londres' son Maurice built a stone keep to replace the earlier wooden fortifications. The castle reverted to the lords of Gower sometime in the late 12th century.
The Welsh took the castle keep in 1215, but it was quickly retaken. It then passed to the de Braose (de Breos) family, lords of Gower. The Welsh attacked again, under Rhys ap Maredudd in 1287, only two or three years after Edward I spent the night here. The Breos family lived rather interesting lives; in 1298 Alina de Braose, aged 7, married Lord John of Swansea, himself aged but 12. Alina would later be imprisoned in the Tower of London by Edward II. In 1302 the Braose steward of Oystermouth, John Iweyn, kidnapped William de Langton and cast him into prison. Just 3 years later the 3rd William de Braose was sent to the Tower of London after his mother complained of unpaid debts. The following year Parliament forced Braose to ensure the rights of Swansea burgesses and his tenants in the Gower.
Oystermouth passed through a number of hands until the Mowbray's took control (for the second time) in 1397, by which time it had lost much of its strategic importance. That did not stop Owain Glyndwr from seizing Oystermouth during his 1405 rebellion. When the Earls of Worcester gained the lordship of Glamorgan in the 16th century they also took control of Oystermouth. The castle was finally owned by the Dukes of Beaufort, and it was they who granted it to Swansea Council in 1927, though they remain titular lords of the manor.
Today the castle is operated by the Friends of Oystermouth Castle, and is generally open 11-5pm between Easter and October (please check the official website for the current times). The castle grounds and nearby woodland walks are open all year.
The stone keep erected by Maurice de Londres is the most obvious remaining feature, but there are numerous other buildings added over the early medieval period, including a lovely gatehouse with curtain walls, a 14th century chapel with fragmentary wall paintings, and several other domestic chambers. The chapel tower boasts some very nice traceried windows. You can climb up to the wall walk for excellent views over the castle and the surrounding park.
It is worth noting that there is extremely limited parking at the castle. By far the best place to park is at one of the paid parking lots on the waterfront. There are several parking areas within a 5-minute walk of the castle. We used a parking area just south of the junction of Newton Road with Mumbles Road (the B4433) at OS SS616881.
About Oystermouth Castle
Address: Castle Avenue, The Mumbles, Gower, Glamorgan, Wales, SA3 4BA
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: Just off the B4593 (Newton Road) one block uphill from the waterfront.
Website: Oystermouth Castle
OS: SS613 880
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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