Pencoed (pronounced "Pen-koyd") is set in around 370 acres of rolling farmland about one km. from the village of Llandevaud in Gwent. We have a location plan here and some new higher res. photos here . September '98, an old print added here.
The castle is a fortified Tudor manor house thought to have been built by Sir Thomas Morgan during the first quarter of the 16th Century on the site of a moated Norman castle held in 1270 by Sir Richard de la More and in 1306 by Maurice and Walter de Kemeys. The manor house appears to incorporate parts of the earlier castle. In 1485 the Battle of Bosworth had ended the Wars of the Roses and in general the Welsh had backed the winning side. It became possible to build a large family home without having to worry too much about arrow slits and gun ports. Pencoed reflects a peaceful (and for some) a prosperous period in Welsh affairs. The Morgans, a branch of the powerful Monmouthshire family, settled at Pencoed for some time. Nearby Llanmartin Church once boasted a carefully wrought chapel with carved effigies of an ancient Morgan knight and his wife but a later owner of the manor stripped the lead from the chapel roof and time and decay laid low this memorial. In more recent times, Pencoed was bought by a British admiral who sought seclusion there after a court martial. In 1914 Lord Rhondda purchased the castle and carried out some restoration. After his death in 1918 the work ceased.
The Pencoed Morgans descended from Llewelyn ap Ivor (lord of St. Cleare)
and his wife Angharad, daughter of Sir Morgan Meredith (and representative
of the Ancient Welsh Lords of Caerleon). Angharad was born in 1300. The
name Morgan was originally spelled "Morcant" in Old Welsh and only became
"Morgan" in the medieval period. Despite what you may have read on the
Web, the name does not mean "sea- born". If you are interested in the Morgans
of Monmouthshire (nowadays the county of Gwent) you might like to
look at this picture of a statue depicting Lord
Tredegar, a Morgan who took part in Britain's most famous military tragedy
- the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. We also have a note
on a relic of Sir Nicholas Morgan .
Historic Building Listing. The Secretary of State for Wales is required to compile lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Pencoed Castle is listed as a grade II* building (i.e. considered to be a particularly important building of more than special interest). In practice, listing serves to provide a reference of buildings important to the heritage and acts as a form of protection. Before a listed building can be altered or extended "listed building consent" must be obtained from the appropriate planning authority.
If you'd like to take a look at a castle that has remained hidden from view for many years, this page has several more pictures of Pencoed and its buildings. We have a ground plan taken from a drawing made in 1864 here.
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