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Carreg Cennen Castle: A Visitor's Guide

Voted the most romantic ruin in Wales by readers of Countryfile magazine, Carreg Cennen Castle is a Grade I listed building that occupies a dominant position overlooking the River Cennen. Formerly under Royal ownership, this wonderful structure is now cared for by Cadw.

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The Gliffaes Hotel Guide To Carreg Cennen Castle

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Is Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

Carreg Cennen Castle and Farm, Trapp, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, SA19 6UA (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes drive from the hotel)

When Is Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm Open?

Carreg Cennen Castle and Farm is open 364 days per year (only closing on Christmas Day each year). The opening times are seasonal and are as follows:

April-October:

9:30am-6:00pm

November-March:

9:30am-4:30pm

How Long Should I Spend At Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

Allow 2 hours to spend at the castle and farm, or longer if you wish to walk and explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.

How Much Is Entry To Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

Children: £3.50

Over 60s: £4.50

Adults: £5.50

Family Ticket: £16.00

Can I Park At Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

There is a car park near to the barn which can accommodate around 50 cars. There aren’t any dedicated disabled parking spaces.

Is Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm Wheelchair-Accessible?

The incline from the farm towards the castle is quite challenging and may not be suitable for wheelchairs, prams, pushchairs or people with walking difficulties.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, so you can visit at your own convenience. While the spring and summer seasons are undoubtedly the most popular time to visit, the autumn and winter months can offer better conditions for walking and photography.

What Should I Wear To Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

There is no dress code for Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm, so dress for the weather. The walk from the farm to the castle is quite steep and the terrain can be uneven, so appropriate walking footwear is recommended.

Is Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm Dog-Friendly?

Dogs are welcome on the ground floor levels of the site but must be kept on leads at all times.

Is There WiFi At Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm?

WiFi is not available at Carreg Cennen Castle And Farm.

Carreg Cennen Castle: The Most Romantic Castle In Wales

Taking a trip to Carreg Cennen Castle is highly recommended when staying at the Gliffaes Country House Hotel.

Enjoying an elevated position above the River Cennen and on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Carreg Cennen Castle offers wonderful views of the Carmarthenshire countryside and an abundance of picturesque walks nearby.

Carreg Cennen Castle: The Early Years

The original castle was likely to have been commissioned by Rhys Ap Gruffydd, Prince of Deheubarth, with construction believed to have been completed around the time of his death in 1197.

When the prince died, the castle was inherited by his ancestor, Rhys Fychan, and it became central to a conflict within the family, with ownership changing on multiple occasions. It became subject to the ultimate family betrayal when Matilda De Braeos, Rhys’ mother, allowed the English to take control of the castle from her son.

The to-ing and fro-ing of ownership continued within the family over the next half century, before Carreg Cennen Castle was seized by King Edward I.

Captured By The King

In 1277, Carreg Cennen Castle was seized by King Edward I.

After the Battle Of Irfon Bridge in 1282, King Edward I gifted Carreg Cennen Castle to one of his most loyal noblemen, Baron John Giffard. A year later, Baron Giffard set about demolishing the existing building and replacing it with the commanding edifice that remains today. Although Carreg Cennen Castle wasn’t the main residence of John Giffard, it was an intimidating structure that symbolised control.

The castle continued to change hands, with Hugh Le Despenser possessing it for some time before it became the property of John of Gaunt.

When John’s son, Henry of Bolingbroke, ascended to the throne, Carreg Cennen Castle fell under Crown ownership.

Under Attack

In 1403, the castle came under attack during the Owain Glyndwr rebellion, with 800 of his troops maintaining a relentless onslaught for several months.

Although the castle did sustain damage during the siege, it was successfully defended against Glyndwr’s men.

The damage was quite extensive and it wasn’t until at least 1409 that repairs were completed.

The War Of The Roses

During the War of the Roses in 1461, Carreg Cennen became a garrison for the Lancastrian forces.

A Yorkist force, led by Sir Richard Herbert (from Raglan Castle) and Sir Robert Vaughan (from Tretower Castle), seized the castle in 1462.

As Carreg Cennen Castle was purported to be a threat to the monarchy, a team of 500 men partially demolished it with picks and crowbars the following spring in order to prevent further use.

Subsequent Ownership

Although the castle had now become a ruin, it was still highly sought after.

Ownership of the property remained within the Vaughan and Cawdor families for many years and it became popular with artists in the 18th century. In the 19th century, significant renovation work was carried out on the castle.

The Morris family became owners of Carreg Cennen Castle in the 1960s when the legal team of Lord Cawdor made an error when drafting the deeds for the sale of Castell Farm. The castle was included by mistake and is still owned by Margaret and Bernard Llewellyn, the daughter and son-in-law of the late Mr Morris.

The Cave At Carreg Cennen Castle

Included as part of the admission fee, one of the highlights of visiting Carreg Cennen Castle is the opportunity to explore the underground cave.

The cave is damp and you can really get a feeling for how it must have felt for any prisoners that may have been captured and held here.

A torch is absolutely necessary when visiting the cave, which are available to hire in case you didn’t bring your own.

Carreg Cennen Castle Facts

  1. Carreg Cennen Castle was voted the most romantic ruin in Wales by readers of Countryfile magazine.
  2. Carreg Cennen Castle translates as “Castle (on the) Rock (above the) Cennen
  3. According to popular folklore, King Arthur is sleeping beneath the castle, awaiting a call to arms from the Welsh.

How To Find Carreg Cennen Castle

It takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to reach Carreg Cennen Castle from Gliffaes Country House Hotel – but it is worth the effort.

Upon leaving the hotel, head east towards the A40. Proceed onto the A40 and continue for around 45 miles.

As you approach Llandeilo, take the 1st exit from the A40 and proceed onto the A483 (Rhosmaen Street).

After approximately 1 mile, you will reach Ffairfach roundabout. Take the first exit onto Bethlehem Road and continue for around 4 miles until you reach Trapp and, if you haven’t already seen the castle by this point, it will be on your left hand side.

Other Attractions Near Carreg Cennen Castle

With a history dating back to 1480, a visit to Aberglasney Gardens is a must when in Carmarthenshire. This Grade II listed mansion has in excess of 20 styles of gardens within its 10 acres.

For the castle enthusiasts, a trip to Carreg Cennen Castle can be combined with a visit to the National Trust’s Dinefwr Castle or the nearby Dryslwyn Castle.

Featuring the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, the National Botanic Garden of Wales is highly recommended when visiting Carmarthenshire.

Book Your Brecon Beacons Escape

Gliffaes Country House Hotel is nestled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

We’ve created a useful guide of local attractions and activities in the Brecon Beacons, containing information on walks, things to do, local shopping, and places to visit, which you can use to help map out your visit to the Brecon Beacons.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a fresh, locally sourced lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, or somewhere comfortable to stay the night, our friendly country house hotel is the perfect base for your Brecon Beacons break.

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