Skenfrith Castle

kenfrith Castle is one of the 'Three Castles' granted to Hubert de Burgh by King John in 1201. The other two castles are White Castle, also known as Lantilio, and Grosmont Castle. Hubert de Burgh was a wealthy baron who had learnt much about castle defence on his trips abroard. Soon after taking control of the castles he began rebuilding work at Skenfrith and Grosmont. In 1205, while Hubert was being held captive in France, the castles were granted to William de Braose, a favourite of King John. When Hubert was released he returned to England and retook control of the castles. After Hubert's death in 1243 the castles were held by the King and in 1254 they were granted to the future Edward I and in 1267 to his brother Edmund of Lancaster. When the threat of Welsh rebellions died out at the end of the thirteenth century the military history of the castles came to and end and they were mostly used as residences. Skenfrith castle has four sides, though not in the shape of a perfect rectangle. The central keep is circular and pictured opposite. The river Monnow passes the eastern side of the castle and a moat was dug outside the other three sides allowing the river to flow completely around and act as a very good barrier from attack. The north side of the outer wall had a gateway, but this has been destroyed.

Skenfrith Castle Key Facts
CountyMonmouthshire (9 castles)
DirectionsEight miles north of Monmouth on the A466 and B4521.
OwnershipBaronial castle
One of the three castles owned by Hubert de Burgh. The other two being White Castle and Grosmont Castle.
RemainsSmall amount survives
Access to siteAt any reasonable time
Outer Defences
MoatOriginally the nearby river was diverted around the outside of the castle.
TimeRef Rating
TimeRef Comments
There are enough remains of this castle for a short visit. The highlight being the remains of the circular keep. Free access to the castle.

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1190 - 1200 Construction on Skenfrith Castle
 Built by Hubert de Burgh this castle is one of the three he owned in the Welsh Marches. White Castle, and Grosmont Castle being the other two.[1] 
1201   Hubert de Burgh granted castles
 Hubert de Burgh was granted the three castles of White, Skenfrith and Grosmont in the Welsh Marches by King John. 
1205   William de Braose granted lands
 William de Braose, King John's favourite, was granted the three castles of White, Grosmont and Skenfrith. 
1254   Henry gives Edward his own lands
 Henry III granted Edward (I) areas of land including Crown lands in Wales, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Gascony. He was also given cities such as Bristol, Stamford and Grantham.These areas were on the edge of Henry's lands and the idea was to give Edward experience of governing lands of his own before becoming king. Edward was granted the three castles in the Marches, Skenfrith, White and Grosmont.[2] 


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