On a forty foot high limestone ridge overlooking the pretty village of Mumbles Oystermouth Castle is a spectacular location.
The earliest building remains at Oystermouth Castle, the keep in the central block, date from the early 12th century.
Used as the residence of the Marcher Lords of Gower it was frequently under attack from the local Welsh. In the twelfth century the castle was mainly owned by the first Earl of Warwick and his family. In 1203 the lordship of Gower was given to the de Breos family who ruled until the 1320s when it passed into the hands of the de Mowbray’s via Alina de Breos who married John de Mowbray. The de Mowbrays lost Gower to the Beauchamps for some time due to a legal decision and in 1461 it passed to the Herberts, the Somersets and then to the Dukes of Beaufort who held it until 1927 when it was transferred to Swansea Corporation. Currently it is the responsibility of the Swansea City Council and supervised by the Friends of Oystermouth Castle.
A Short History
1106 – Henry Beaumont, Earl of Warwick became the first Norman Lord of Gower, when he divided the area among his followers the manor of Oystermouth was given to the de Londres family.
1116 – Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Tewdr invaded Gower and burnt Oystermouth Castle.
1136 – Large Norman force defeated by Hwyel ap Maredudd on Garngoch common.
1189 – Lord Rhys of Deheubarth plundered Gower.
1192 – Lord Rhys besieged Swansea for ten weeks
1203 – King John gave Gower to William de Breos.
1215 – Rhys Grug and Rhys Ieunanc, allies of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, attacked Swansea and then captured Oystermouth.
1257 – Llywelyn ap Gruffydd plundered Gower.
1284 – Extensive repairs and extensions to the castle completed for the visit of Edward I on 10th and 11th of December.
1287 – Rhys ap Maredudd attacked and burnt Swansea and captured Oystermouth.
1302 – William de Langton tried to bring complaints against the King and was kidnapped by John Iweyn, steward of Oystermouth Castle and held prisoner until he withdrew his claims.
1302 + 1314 William de Breos signs a bond and two grants at Oystermouth.
1329 – Alina de Mowbray dated a conveyance at Oystermouth.
1334 + 1350 – Alina’s son John was at Oystermouth and made grants to the abbeys of Neath and Margam.
1403 – 1405 – Gower controlled by Owain Glyndwr
1451 – Sir Hugh Johnys was constable of Oystermouth Castle
1461 – Gower passes to the Herberts.
1927 – The Duke of Beaufort transfers Oystermouth Castle to Swansea Corporation.
1989 – Friends of Oystermouth Castle founded.