Castell Ddinas was the highest castle in England and Wales. It dates back to the Iron Age, which in Britain was between 600BC and 50AD. Along with many castles in Wales, such as Caerphilly Castle, the Normals built the now ruins during their conquest of Wales in the early 1070s.
A Norman castle
The Norman built this incarnation of the castle rather hastily. No signs of the Iron Age fortification remained by the time the Normans arrived. They built it entirely in stone and kept it a simple affair. A curtain wall and square towers surrounded a central hall-keep in typical Norman fashion.
The Castle’s status as the premier castle in the region was short-lived. In 1093, the nearby town of Brecon became host to Brecon Castle. Castell DDinas became more of a fort used to defend the Rhiangoll pass between Talgarth and Crickhowell.
During its time as a working castle, Castell Dinas changed hands between the Normans and Welsh; both sides also sacked it, especially in the 1200s. It also served at this time as the capital of the Talgarth barony.
Finally, in the 1400s, Owain Glyndŵr’s (the last Welsh Prince of Wales) followers destroyed the castle. It was never rebuilt. Today, the castle is virtually non-existent. Soil and/or plants now cover many of the stone ruins that make up the ruin. What draws people to continue visiting this site is the impression of the Iron Age fort. You can still see it with its original ditches and ramparts. What’s more, it offers impressive views that make a hike worthwhile.
The Castle used to look over Talgarth, towards Brecon and had extensive views into the Black Mountains. As one of the major geological features of this part of Wales, they are worth the trip. As is true of most of Wales, this area has many hiking and wandering paths through regions of extreme natural beauty, drawing hikers from around the world.
Here are three more views:
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