Oxwich Castle

Oxwich Castle (Welsh Castell Oxwich ) is the ruin of a mansion from the Tudor period on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. The classified as a cultural monument is a fine Grade I and protected as a Scheduled Monument ruin is situated about 500 m south of the village of Oxwich on a wooded ridge above the Oxwich Bay.


Probably existed since the 13th century, a stone castle on the site of the present mansion, which is mentioned in a charter of William de Braose as a fief in 1306. 1459 Oxwich Castle was mentioned as owned by Philip Mansel. The Mansel family was already settled under Edward I. on the Gower Peninsula and belonged to the gentry to. Philip Mansel, who had married Mary, a daughter of the powerful Gruffudd ap Nicolas, was indicted during the Wars of the Roses in 1464 of treason and lost his lands. His son Jenkin Mansel supported Henry Tudor in 1485 and received so after the battle of Bosworth back the lands of the family. His son Rhys Mansel came under Henry VIII to influence and wealth, so that he probably started in place of the older house with the construction of a new mansion from around 1520. The construction was completed in about 1538 and the seat of the family was relocated from Penrice Castle in the new mansion. His son Edward Mansel had the house about 1558 to 1580 expand by a mighty, glorious east wing, where he probably took over financially. In the 17th century the family moved its headquarters to Margam Abbey, 1632 Oxwich Castle was leased as a farm. The south wing was used by the tenant as a residence, while the east wing fell over time and collapsed in the late 18th century. 1949, the dilapidated house was handed over to the State. After an extensive restoration, the house is now owned by Cadw and can be visited from late March to late October.


The mansion was built in the 16th century as a compact, rectangular plant around a yard and had an impressive gate with battlements and parapet and flanking tower erected, but the fortifications were for decoration only and were not intended for defense. The magnificent coats of arms doorway leads into the rectangular courtyard, which is enclosed by the two abutting at right angle wings and a low wall on the west side. The two wings, are both an independent manor house with kitchen, utility rooms and residential apartments, the south wing is much higher and larger than the older east wing for itself.

South Wing

To the right of the entrance gate is the white-plastered two-storey south wing. The building used to contain the ground floor a kitchen and three other economic areas. Upstairs there was a hall and the private chamber of the owner's family. While its use as a farmhouse, the building was remodeled several times since the 17th century and expanded by a small extension at the back. Presumably, the front door was moved to the current location, where stones were used from the dilapidated east wing. The collapse of the east wing and the south wing was damaged but rebuilt. After the takeover of the building by the state some of the modifications were undone. Today, located in the building exhibitions on the history of the mansion and the history of Wales.

East Wing

Opposite the entrance gate are the ruins of the east wing, which was once much larger than the adjacent south wing. Above the south wing are wall teeth suggest that it was originally planned to raise the south wing.

In the multi-storey east wing were once above the ground floor a two-storey hall and many other rooms that were developed by several staircases. The private rooms of the master of the house were on the south side. The top floor contained a continuous, through several large windows lit up Long Gallery, of which one had a wide view of the Oxwich Bay. Formerly home to the outer south side of the building three tower-like extensions, so that it has an E-shaped floor plan. Of the additions, the outer walls of the south-eastern tower are still standing. This cultivation once contained six floors, of which the top five were equipped with fireplaces and latrines and thus presumably served to accommodate the entourage. From the south-west tower substantially lower wall remains are still preserved, but probably still are thus dated from the late Middle Ages and by a predecessor. From the middle cultivation only the foundations remain, it is unclear above he ever reached the level of the other two additions.

Pigeon house and farm buildings

Outside the courtyard and to the north of the east wing are the ruins of a round tower-like pigeon house. Behind the south wing is a working farm with extensive buildings from the 20th century.