Ogmore Castle

1116 sees  the earliest recorded occupancy of Ogmore Castle. The castle is occupied by its builder William de Londres, one of Robert FitzHamons Twelve Knights of Glamorgan. The record confirms that the castle had been built by this date, in a motte and bailey type including earthworks and ditches.  William de Londres was forced to abandon the lands of Ogmore when the Welsh appeared in force. Arnold de Boteler is noted to have protected the castle against the attack of the Welsh and for that he was rewarded the castle and lands of Dunraven. The castle was later rebuilt in stone by his son Maurice de Londres the founder of Ewenny Priory.  Ogmore Castle guards the major fording place into southern Wales.  Once towering three stories the castle is now a ruin.

“The first story contained the great hall, with an ornate fireplace and elaborate windows. A staircase led from the hall to the floor above, which served as apartments for the lord and his family, and a trap-door opened from the hall down into the basement. A well-preserved latrine tower adjoins the residential complex.

Across the inner ward, opposite the keep, stands another 12th century structure. Only the cellar of this building remains, the steps leading to a vaulted passageway (shown at right). Interestingly, one of the stairs was constructed from a pre-Norman stone cross. An inscription has survived and relates the following: "Be it known to all that Artmail gave this estate to God and Glywys and Nertat and his daughter" (Robinson). The original stone is now on display in Cardiff, at the National Museum of Wales.

Most of the other construction at Ogmore dates from the 13th century, when the de Londres family still owned the fortress. New buildings were added as needed and included another great hall, once again containing apartments for the lord; an expansion of the curtain wall; and a new gatehouse, a simple structure located adjacent to the keep, its turret projecting into the outer ward. (The turret held additional latrines, accessed from the hall and the upper level of the keep.) Inside the inner ward are the foundations of several buildings, which probably included a hall block and additional accommodation. And, footings of the original drawbridge are visible alongside the gate passage between the inner and outer wards, as is a now-blocked postern gate. Additional buildings were constructed along the wall in the outer ward.”

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