Dinefwr Castle is a 12th century fortified castle located on the banks of the River Gwaun in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The earliest surviving parts of Dinefwr Castle date from around 1155, and by 1178 it was home to Welsh ruler Rhys ap Gruffydd along with his wife Margaret. The castle was constructed by Rhese ap Tewdws, who died shortly after its completion around 1194.
Rhys ap Gruffydd died in 1197, and after his death Dinefwr Castle passed to his son Rhys Gryg. In 1250, Dinefwr Castle was attacked and destroyed by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, who at the time was attempting to conquer the region; Rhys Gryg rebuilt the ruined castle some time later as a square castle consisting of corner towers. Further repairs were conducted between 1281 and 1283 by Rhys’ son Maelgwyn, though it is unknown exactly what alterations took place during that work. Rhys Gryg died in 1287 without an heir, and Dinefwr Castle was taken over by the Crown.
The English Crown granted Dinefwr Castle to Rhys Gryg’s brother Gruffydd ap Rhys; he made repairs to the castle in 1288, and it is likely that a hall at the site was added around this time. It remained in Gruffydd ap Rhys’ family until 1406, when it passed onto his grandson Rhys ap Thomas. In 1452 it was captured by Jasper Tudor after a three-year siege during the First War of Welsh Succession, held under siege for another three years before being recaptured by Rhys ap Thomas in 1456.
The site was attacked and damaged by French soldiers during the Second War of Welsh Succession, and later passed into the possession of Edward Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke. In 1585 Pembroke commissioned William Arnold to undertake work on Dinefwr Castle and its site as part of a wider project to improve the surrounding area. Further work was commissioned in 1586 by Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke who wanted to turn Dinefwr Castle into a residence for his own use; however these works were never carried out.
Dinefwr Castle fell into ruin during the 17th century, and was largely demolished after 1646. The ruins of Dinefwr Castle are a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.
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