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OXWICH CASTLE

Site Details



NPRN 19554

Map Reference SS48NE

Grid Reference SS49778629

Unitary (Local) Authority Swansea

Old County Glamorgan

Community Penrice

Type of Site FORTIFIED HOUSE

Broad Class DOMESTIC

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description NAR SS48NE31
1. Remains of 16th century fortified manor house.
By Sir Rice Mansel 1541 on earlier site. Columbarium (Nprn37628). Ancient Monument.
Substantial surviving ruins of a large Tudor mansion with indications that it incorporates fabric of the late medieval Oxwich Castle. At a distance of about 90m to the N.E. of the mansion are the vestiges of a rectangular tower or first-floor hall. The masonry of this building is medieval.
2. Castle in exsistence in C13, but much of the surviving fabric is from the C16. After C17, the NE range and tower fell into disrepair, although the SE range was in use as a farmhouse. Entrance to courtyard through SE gateway of Sutton stone with four-centred arch. Square, partly paved courtyard. NE range, constructed of limestone rubble with sandstone dressings, is the most impressive section, surviving almost to the eaves in places. This part has the base of a staircase with a vaulted kitchen to the left, and two undercroft vaults to the right. To SE of courtyard is a two-storey range, although this was once probably three storeys.
(Source CADW listed buildings database)
J Hill 26.09.2003
(sources: RCAHMW 1981 (Glamorgan 3.1), 63-76; 2000 (Glamorgan 3.1b), [PC9] 491-4)
Associated with:
Park/gardens (Nprn265709)
Dovecote (Nprn37628)
Tower to NE (Nprn275879).
RCAHMW AP94-CS 0660-2
RCAHMW AP945087/69-70; 955112/45-7

This large, mainly ruinous courtyard house stands on a headland that forms the west side of Oxwich Bay, Gower. The existing buildings, not earlier than the sixteenth century (but almost certainly occupying an older site), include two virtually independent residential blocks of differing dates, a mock military gateway to the courtyard, and the remains of a dovecot (NPRN 37628). The house is of particular interest as the early seat of the Mansel family, reflecting its rise to a leading position among the Glamorgan gentry.
When the castle of Oxwich is specifically named in 1459 it was already held by Philip Mauncell, having come to the family by marriage to an heiress of the Penrice family who in turn acquired the manor of Oxwich in the thirteenth century. Much of the house that survives was built by Rice Mansel (1487-1559) the first of the family to achieve more than local significance.

from:
RCAHMW, Glamorgan Inventory, vol.3(i) 'Greater Houses', p.63.

David Leighton, RCAHMW, 22 October 2007

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