Raglan Castle (Welsh: Castell Rhaglan) is a late medieval castle located just north of the town of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales.
The castle was built between 1405 and 1420 following the establishment of a permanent English military presence in South Wales against the threat of French attack. It was owned by William ap Thomas, a Welsh ally of Henry V, who died in 1421. By 1423, it had passed to his son Thomas and subsequently to another son Edmund who married into the Beauchamp family and inherited Ludlow. By this time the castle was derelict and both men probably never lived there. Their involvement with the castle probably relates more to the land upon which it stands than any interest they had in the castle itself. The castle was a ruin by 1461, when it was confiscated by the Crown as a result of Edmund’s part in Henry VI’s failed invasion of Normandy in that year.
The English Civil War (1642–1646) saw Raglan Castle captured first by Parliamentary forces and then again by Royalists under Lord Herbert. The castle escaped slighting and was put into use as a barracks and prison. In 1690, it was acquired from William Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonyn, a descendant of William ap Thomas, by John Molesworth who began some restoration work on the property. By 1765, the castle had been entirely demolished.
The site was excavated in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with excavations revealing a large square tower along with a smaller D-shaped tower. The castle’s Great Hall (Parliamentary records place it in this location) is thought to have been located behind the larger tower, while several other buildings were positioned adjacent to the smaller tower. The castle complex also included various ancillary buildings such as service yards and kitchen areas.
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