History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The Mowbray family took ownership in 1321. A small settlement grew up near the castle, complete with a church. There is no sign of the settlement now, and of the church only part of a single wall remains standing. What happened to the castle and the village? As far as we know Pennard never saw any military action, so why was it deserted?
Visiting Pennard Castle
At the end of a 4 day whirlwind tour of historic sites in south Wales I asked my son what had been his favourite site. Without hesitation he replied 'Pennard Castle'. I did not have to ask him to explain his choice; I knew exactly what he meant. There are more famous castles in the area (think of Oystermouth, Laugharne, or Kidwelly). There are better preserved castles - almost all of them. There are castles associated with historic people and events. But there is nothing to match the sheer drama of Pennard; the scenic beauty of the location, with the ruined castle perched atop a steep cliff looking out over sand dunes to where Three Cliffs Bay lies gleaming in the sun. In truth the ruins of Pennard are scanty, but this is a place you can sit for an hour by the ruined walls, doing nothing but taking in the scenery, and consider it an hour well spent.
There is no vehicular access to Pennard, and when you see the location you will understand why. I suggest you park at the Gower Heritage Centre, near Parkmill. The Centre has a free walking map that hows several routes to Three Cliffs Bay, and the upper route takes you directly past the castle. Take the signed footpath that starts opposite the Heritage Centre. The path crosses a footbridge then turns right to follow a small stream. after 100 yards the trail forks; take the upper route, signposted to Southgate. The trail climbs a moderately steep hill through very pleasant woodland until it emerges into the open on the edge of a golf course. The trail skirts the golf course, and you can see Pennard Castle come into view in the distance. It should take 20-25 minutes to reach the castle from the Heritage Centre.
In truth the castle ruins are not extensive, so it won't take long to explore the site, though you may well be tempted to sit and gaze at the scenery for some considerable time!
About Pennard Castle
Address: Parkmill, Gower, Glamorgan, Wales
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: reached by footpath ½ mile S Parkmill on A4118, on Gower peninsula overlooking Oxwich Bay
OS: SS530 881
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Parc le Breos Burial Chamber - 0.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Pennard, St Mary's Church - 1.4 miles (Historic Church)
Ilston, St Illtyd - 1.4 miles (Historic Church)
Nicholaston, St Nicholas Church - 1.4 miles (Historic Church)
Bishopston, St Teilo - 2.1 miles (Historic Church)
Oxwich, St Illtyd Church - 2.8 miles (Historic Church)
Penrice Castle - 2.9 miles (Castle)
Oxwich Castle - 3.2 miles (Castle)
Nearest Accommodation to Pennard Castle:
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