Coity Castle

On one of those muddled, hazy days between Christmas and New Year – when you’ve forgotten your own name let alone what day it is – Sunny dragged me from my preferred spot on the sofa snoozing off Christmas to take me Coity Castle.

It’s a strange place; perched on the side of a hill in one of the suburbs of Bridgend, it’s surrounded by houses and so the crumbling battlements and towers stick out like a sore thumb. Honestly, I had no idea the place even existed – and since my medieval history is a bit pants I had no idea what I was looking at until I got home and fired up Google.  Originally built during the Norman Conquest of Wales by Sir Payn “the Demon” de Turberville – one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan – the castle was actually still standing all the way up until the 17th century when it was finally abandoned.  (I’m sure once my Dad’s read this he’ll give me a whole essay full of Welsh History to add, but those are the bare bones of the story anyway)

You can walk across the old moat and around the ruins, peer through archways and start up stone staircases that lead to nowhere.  This time of year it’s eerily quiet except for the odd crow call – perfect for a spooky winter stroll.  🙂

I feel like I need to make a trip to all the other castles of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan now – you know, complete the set! 

Castle Coch

I’ve always thought of Castle Coch as “my” castle. That fairytale-esque red keep that’s nestled amongst the trees and perched on the side of a “mountain” enchanted me as a kid. I used to pass by it every day on my way to school, and when I moved to Swansea for University spotting it from the M4 became a kind of homecoming ritual at the end of every term. So when my English other half (and the Sat Nav…) refers to it as *groan* “Castle Cock” (…and not because he can’t pronounce it!), well, I get a bit protective. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way, I’m pretty sure every Cardiff-born feels similarly and thinks of Castle Coch as their castle. 🙂

On Sunday, to celebrate Wales finishing top of their group in the Euros (GET IN), Cadw offered free entry into all their heritage sites, including Castle Coch.  So, this lady decided to go and visit her castle.