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Historic Buildings of Brecknockshire, Wales

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  • William Sherlock. Via Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_Stafford.jpg Public Domain
    Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (1455 - 1483)
    another possible birth year is /was 1454================================================================================="Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, KG (4 September 1455 – 2 November 1483)...
  • Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (1478 - 1521)
    "Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, KG (3 February 1478 – 17 May 1521) was an English nobleman. He was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Katherine Woodville, whose sister, Qu...
  • William de Braose II, 3rd Lord of Bramber (aft.1100 - bef.1196)
    Birth and death dates highly conjectural. He was certainly the eldest son and heir. [II] de Briouse , son of PHILIPPE de Briouse & his wife Eleanor de Barnstaple (before 5 Jan [1096]-after [1175]). * T...
  • Sybil de Neufmarché (1096 - 1143)
    Sybil de Neufmarché was sole heiress of Bernard de Newmarch.Sybil was our ancestor through three distinct descent lines--through her daughter Bertha, through her daughter Lucia, and through her daughte...
  • Bernard de Neufmarche, Lord of Brecon (c.1050 - 1093)
    Bernard de Neufmarché From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaBernard of Neufmarché or Newmarket (c. 1050 – c. 1125) was "the first of the original conquerors of Wales."[1] He was a minor Norman lord who ...

Historic Buildings of Brecknockshire, Wales

Now mainly in Powys -

Borough of Brecknock parishes of Penderyn and Vaynor went instead to the Cynon Valley and Merthyr Tydfil districts in Mid Glamorgan, whilst the urban district of Brynmawr and the parish of Llanelly from Crickhowell Rural District became part of Blaenau Gwent

Image right - Brecon Castle

See Historic Buildings of Britain and Ireland - Main Page

See Table of Welsh Place names (Table listing where places are in Current [Post 1974/1996] Welsh Counties/Historic Counties

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HELP is always welcome!!


If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.
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The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in the county of Brecknockshire, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.

Castles, Baronial and Historic houses

... in alphabetical order

❊ Indicates an available image in Gallery attached to the project

Including Castles, Abbeys, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest

Bold links are to GENi projects and profiles; others are to external websites

A

B

  • Builth Castle - built under King Edward I, construction taking nearly five years in the 1270s. It replaced an earlier castle built by the Marcher Baron Philip De Braose who claimed the area as a Marcher lordship. There may also have been an earlier castle or Roman fort at Caerberis (the fort of Peris) on the north side of the river Irfon by the original settlement.
  • Brecon Castle ❊ - was the creation of Bernard de Neufmarche, who took his surname from the village of Neufmarche near Rouen, the capital of Normandy. By 1093 de Neufmarche and his knights had defeated the Welsh rulers of south Wales and began to build themselves the castles from which they intended to control their new lands. By a charter of c.11OO Bernard de Neufmarche granted lands and privileges to the monastery which he established just to the north of the castle. This Benedictine Priory occupied the site of the present cathedral. The castle soon became the administrative and military headquarters of the great Lordship of Brecon. The castle was attacked six times, between 1215 and 1273; those in 1215, 1264 and 1265 were successful. This was partly in respect of the three hundred year struggle between the Normans and the Welsh (which began with the conquest and lasted until the Glyndwr revolt), but also the power struggles involving Kings and their barons. De Neufmarche was succeeded by his daughter Sybil who married the Earl of Hereford. Their Brecon estates passed to William de Braose. They remained in the de Braose family for about a hundred years then by marriage the Brecon and Hereford lands of the original Lordship were united in the possession of Humphrey de Bohun. The Lordship was in royal hands from the late fourteenth century to the middle of the fifteenth when it was granted to the Staffords who were to be the last Lords of Brecon. Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, had been a supporter of Richard 111 but they had fallen out and Henry retired to his castle at Brecon. Here he plotted against the King. His accomplice was a prisoner at the castle, John Morton, Bishop of Ely. (After whom the Ely Tower and Ely place are named.) The duke raised an army to oppose the King but his rebellion failed and he was executed. The bishop fled abroad and joined the Earl of Richmond who was soon to defeat Richard 111 at Bosworth and to become the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII. The King employed the bishop as one of his most efficient tax collectors; he was the Morton of Morton's fork : The new King also rewarded the Stafford family for their loyalty. Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, born in Brecon castle in February 1478, was granted all the honours, titles and lands which had belonged to his father. However the second Tudor found it necessary to execute this the third and last duke. In 1521 Buckingham very rashly flaunted his royal connections and claim to the throne and consequently was punished for treason. By acts of parliament passed in 1536 and 1543 the Marches were brought under royal control. In place of the Lordship of Brecon the County of Brecknock was formed. The Morgan family of Tredegar Park who had extensive Breconshire connections turned their attention to the castle and the house adjoining. Work on repairing the house began in 1809. During the next few years considerable sums of money were spent turning house into hotel. A steel engraving of this date gives a detailed view of the building which is clearly recognisable as the present hotel - (The engraving was done by Bourdon one of the numerous French prisoners-of-war held in Brecon during the Napoleonic wars.). The success of the Morgans' investment can be gauged by the prominence given to the Castle Hotel in later guides. By 1835 an impressive list of coaches called at the Castle Hotel; journeys to London on the Royal Mail, to Aberystwyth, Bristol, Carmarthen, Llandrindod.
  • Brecon Cathedral - thought to be on the site of an earlier Celtic church, of which no trace remains. A new church, dedicated to St. John, was built on the orders of Bernard de Neufmarché, the Norman knight who conquered the kingdom of Brycheiniog in 1093. He gave the church to one of his followers, Roger, a monk from Battle Abbey, who founded a priory on the site as a daughter house of Battle. The first prior at Brecon was Walter, another monk from Battle. Bernard de Neufmarché also endowed the priory with lands, rights and tithes from the surrounding area, and, after his death, it passed to the Earls of Hereford, so giving it greater prosperity. The church was rebuilt and extended in the Gothic style in about 1215, during the reign of King John. In the Middle Ages, the church was known as the church of Holy Rood or Holy Cross, because it owned a great 'golden rood' which was an object of pilgrimage and veneration until it was destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century. In 1538 the Prior was pensioned off, and the priory church became the parish church. Some of the surrounding buildings were adapted for secular use and others, such as the cloisters, were left to decay and later demolished. By the nineteenth century, the church was in poor repair and only the nave was in use. Some restoration took place in 1836, but major renovation of the church did not start until the 1860s. The tower was strengthened in 1914. The cathedral is a grade I listed building. Charles Lumley (1824–1858), awarded the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War, was buried in the cathedral churchyard

C

  • Castell Coch
  • Castle Tump (Trecastle motte and bailey), early 11th-century scheduled Cadw ancient monument.
  • Craig-y-Nos Castle, a country house built in 1841 and subsequently purchased and much extended by the renowned operatic singer Adelina Patti.
  • Crickhowell castle - initially a motte and bailey castle built from 1121, probably by Robert Turberville of the family of Norman Lords, at this time a tenant of Bernard de Neufmarche, Hugh Turberville holding the castle from 1273 not as tenant-in-chief but as mesne lord. Hugh Turberville was Seneschal of Gascony whose services were called upon by King Edward I to train Welsh men-at-arms and transform the royal levy into a disciplined mediæval army capable of conquering Wales. Hugh led both cavalry and 6,000 infantry recruited in the Welsh Marches for King Edward's forces. He was later a Deputy Constable and later Constable of Castell y Bere in Merionethshire. He fought against Rhys ap Maredudd during his rising from 1287 to 1291. He died in 1293 the last of the family in the direct line. The castle was refortified in stone from 1242 when Sybil Turberville a Turberville heiress married Sir Grimbold Pauncefote or Paunceforte. The castle was walled with substantial stone towers and a large bailey, a home castle befitting an important Royal ally in Wales. The castle was in the hands of the powerful Mortimer family dynasty of Marcher Lords and in the 14th century and declined as a smaller holding within a large portfilio of lands, titles and larger castles. The castle was refortified on the Royal command of new King King Henry IV in 1400 and carried out by Sir John Pauncefote, great grandson of Sir Grimbold, in advance of the uprising led by Owain Glyndŵr to 1412. The castle was largely destroyed in the early 15th century by Owain Glyndŵr's forces, who also attacked and burned Abergavenny town and other settlements in the area. The ruined stone double tower still stands on the Castle Green.
  • Cwm Camlais Castle

D

E

F

G

H

  • Hay-on-Wye- has two Norman castles within a short distance of each other. It seems likely that Hay was fortified by William Fitz Osbern during his penetration of south-east Wales in the summer of 1070, when he defeated three Welsh kings. The history of the site then continues through the lordships of the de Neufmarchés, which was confirmed at the Battle of Brecon in 1093, and also the Gloucester/Hereford families until 1165, when the district of Brycheiniog passed into the hands of the William de Braose|de Braose dynasty of Marcher Lords. In 1230 Hay Castle passed to the de Bohuns and the local history, including the battle near Hay in 1231, is continued through the Mortimer Wars of the 1260s and the battle near Brecon in 1266 down to the death of Earl Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford in 1298. Sub-project required
  1. Lying close to St.Mary’s Church on the western edge of Hay-on-Wye is a small but well-preserved castle motte. The site overlooks a gorge and small stream leading to the River Wye, which was undoubtedly one reason for the construction of a motte and bailey castle here. A recently levelled platform under the car park to the north east may have once have housed the castle's bailey. This little fortress was probably the work of William Revel, a knight of Bernard de Neufmarché, and may later have been the seat for the manor or commote of Melinog. Other than this the motte has no further recorded history.
  2. The main fortress within Hay-on-Wye was situated on the great site commanding the town and river under the current ruins of the castle and mansion. This was undoubtedly the 'castello de haia' handed to Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford in 1121 with the daughter of Bernard de Neufmarché. It is most likely that the keep stood by this time. It is therefore possible that this is the oldest Norman tower in Wales, dating to the onslaught of William Fitz Osbern in 1070. During the anarchy (1136-54) in the reign of King Stephen, a series of charters were issued by the Gloucesters concerning the castle. In 1165 the last of Miles de Gloucester's male descendants was killed at nearby Bronllys Castle and Hay-on-Wye Castle passed into the hands of William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber and of New Radnor and Buellt.

I

J

K

L

  • Llanddew Manor belongs to the bishops of Saint David's, who had formerly a castellated mansion or bishops palace there, of which some ruins still remain and incorporate a double-sided vaulted well, known as Bishop Gower’s Well.
  • Llanddew Palace was the favoured residence of 12-13th century clergyman and author, Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) and hosted the Archbishop of Canterbury Baldwin of Exeter in 1188 during his recruiting for the Crusades mission through Wales.
  • Llanigon manor was formerly known as Llanthomas (or Thomas Church) and was part of the lordship of Hay. Remains of a motte, believed to be 11th or 12th century, survive near the old manor house, which was demolished in the 20th century. In 1522, the manor belonged to Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford and was said to be the birthplace of William Thomas.

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

  • Tretower Castle & Court

U-V

W

X-Y-Z

References and Sources

Brecknockshire Specific

General

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