Carew Castle has a turbulent history dating back 2,000 years. It’s been a Celtic fort, a Norman stronghold, an Elizabethan mansion, a Civil War garrison and a romantic icon.
Carew Castle has been an important site for centuries. Evidence of occupation dates back to Iron Age times, and it is thought to have been occupied by Celtic rulers before it passed into Norman hands and became the home of Gerald de Windsor and his wife, the Welsh beauty, Princess Nest.
We know that Princess Nest, a renowned Welsh beauty, lived at Carew Castle in the 1100s. Nest, who was the daughter of the Welsh King of Deheubarth, married Gerald de Windsor, a Norman knight. This land was part of her dowry, Gerald and Nest made their home here.
Gerald first build a wooden fort here and later added a stone tower. When his son and grandson inherited the castle the stone tower was incorporated into the new East wall, with its rectangular corner towers.
The outline of the stone tower where Gerald and Nest once lived can still be seen today. Nest lived a very eventful life and some stories relate that she had as many as 21 children.
In 1480 the Castle passed into the hands of Rhys ap Thomas, who came from a wealthy Camarthenshire family. His support for Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 led to him being knighted on the battlefield. He Modernised the castle by adding the bath stone windows and lavish new apartments above the lower hall. In April 1507 Sir Rhys, by then a Knight of the Garter, held a Great Tournament at Carew, the last Great Tournament to be held in Wales. In May 2007 a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Great Tournament was held at Carew.
Carew Castle has it’s own Car park so visiting by car is recommended. I didn’t recall seeing any bus stops when I visited, but that may have changed.