Carew Castle Sunset

Mark Robson

Pembroke, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

The castle stands on a limestone bluff overlooking the Carew inlet — a part of the tidal estuary that makes up Milford Haven. The site must have been recognised as strategically useful from the earliest times, and recent excavations in the outer ward have discovered multiple defensive walls of an Iron Age fort.

The Norman castle has its origins in a stone keep built by Gerald de Windsor around the year 1100. Gerald was made castellan of Pembroke Castle by Arnulf of Montgomery in the first Norman invasion of Pembrokeshire. He married Nest, princess of Deheubarth around 1095. Nest brought the manor of Carew as part of her dowry, and Gerald cleared the existing fort to build his own castle on Norman lines. The original outer walls were timber, and only the keep was of stone. This still exists in the later structure as the “Old Tower”.
Gerald’s son William took the name “de Carew”, and in the middle of the 12th century created an enclosure with stone walls incorporating the original keep, and a “Great Hall” inside it. The current high-walled structure with a complex of rooms and halls around the circumference was created by Nicholas de Carew around 1270, concurrent with (and influenced by) the construction of the Edwardian castles in North Wales. At this time, the outer ward was also walled in.

The de Carews fell on hard times in the post-Black Death period and mortgaged the castle. It fell into the hands of Rhys ap Thomas, who made his fortune by strategically changing sides and backing Henry Tudor just before the battle of Bosworth.

Rewarded with lands and a knighthood, he extended the castle with luxurious apartments with many Tudor features in the late 15th century. An inner doorway is decorated with three coats of arms: those of Henry VII, his son Arthur and Arthur’s wife Catherine of Aragon. This allegiance turned sour. Rhys’s grandson Rhys ap Gruffudd fell out of favour and was executed by Henry VIII for treason in 1531. The castle thus reverted to the crown and was leased to various tenants. In 1558 it was acquired by Pembrokeshire plutocrat John Perrott, who made the final substantial extension, building the long range of rooms in domestic architecture attached to the outside of the north walls which give the castle its present peculiarly hybrid character.
Perrot subsequently fell out of favour and died imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1592. The castle reverted to the crown and was finally re-purchased by the de Carew family in 1607. In the Civil War, the castle was lucklessly fortified by Royalists although south Pembrokeshire was strongly Parliamentarian. It changed hands three times, and with the Royalists defeated, the south wall was pulled down to render the castle indefensible. At the Restoration the castle was returned to the de Carews, who continued to occupy the east part until 1686, after which it was left to decay. Much of the structure was looted for building stone and for lime burning. Since 1984 Cadw has funded a substantial amount of restoration performed by the Park Authority.

From Wikipedia

Nikon D300
Nikon 18-200mm VR EX
f9.5
1/8
ISO 400
Focal length20mm

Artwork Comments

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