Welsh Family History Archive
Images of Wales
Carreg Cennen Castle
near Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
Photography by John Ball - 19 June 1999
(with Agfa ePhoto307 digital camera)
There are few castles in Europe which can boast a more spectacular location than Carreg Cennen. It sits atop a precipitous limestone crag overlooking the remote Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The origins of the castle, now a hauntingly atmospheric ruin, are shrouded in obscurity, but the present structure dates from circa AD 1300. The castle is now in the care of CADW Welsh Historic Monuments.
A more detailed account of the history of Carreg Cennen is available on Jeff Thomas's Castles of Wales website.
Above: Under a threatening sky, the castle dominates the Carmarthenshire
countryside for miles around.
Above: The track leading up to the castle passes through this farmyard.
Above: These stocks mark the beginning of the steep and winding track which
provides the eastern approach to the castle. To the west, the castle is protected
by 300-foot limestone cliffs.
Above and below: Some of the castle ruins.
Above: The castle entrance was defended by a pit (left), with access via a drawbridge.
The pit remains, but the drawbridge has gone. A passageway (right) leads down into
the limestone rocks on which the castle was built.
At the end of the passage these steps (above) lead down into the darkness of a damp
limestone cave (below), which eventually opens out onto the hillside below the castle.
The exit is blocked and the purpose served by the cave is the subject of debate.
Above: The castle provides a spectacular viewpoint from which one can survey the
Above and below left: After exploring the castle one can sample traditional Welsh
food at Tir-y-Castell Farm tea-rooms and souvenir shop.
Now visit Jeff Thomas's Castles of Wales website, and study the history of Carreg Cennen Castle.