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About Kidwelly Castle (Cadw)
That’s probably why it appears in the very first scene of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. But it would have been no laughing matter to attack this military stronghold.
Kidwelly began in the early 12th century as a Norman ‘ringwork’ castle made of wood and protected only by an earthen bank and ditch. Not surprisingly it was under constant attack by Welsh princes including the Lord Rhys, who captured it in 1159.
Imagine being a Welsh attacker. First you had to conquer the great gatehouse with its drawbridge and portcullis, a hail of arrows and rocks raining down on you. Breach these outer defences and you were faced by the four towers of the inner ward. No way forward – and nowhere to hide. A true killing zone.
After centuries of see-sawing conflict between Norman invaders and native princes Kidwelly was now a match for any castle in Wales. The gatehouse added by the Duchy of Lancaster was the icing on the cake. Even the forces of Owain Glyndwr couldn’t break through.
Like what you see at Kidwelly Castle (Cadw)?