Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

CASTELL COCH. THE FOLLOWING IS A COPY OF A SHORT PAPER ON CASTELL COCH READ BY MR JOHN STUART CORBETT, ON THE OCCASION OF A VISIT OF MEMBERS OF THE CARDIFF NATURALISTS' SOCIETY TO THE CASTLE, ON JUNE 27TH, 1917. I have been asked to say something to you as to the history of this Castle, and that is in one sense a simple, and in another a most difficult matter, for practically nothing is known of its history, and very little of its origin. We are in the Red Castle in the Red Forest; the name of the Castle, which it shares with several others in Wales, being no doubt derived from the colour of the local stone of which it was built, which, when the building was new, would have a distinctly red appearance. As to the Red Forest, by which name the wood in which the Castle stands was known in mediaeval times, it seems probable that it was derived from the autumnal colour of the beech trees, of which the wood largely consisted, in those days perhaps to a greater extent than at present. So far as I am aware, the Castle is not even mentioned in any document of a date near the time of its building, and this is curious, considering the numerous records (printed by the late Mr. Clark in his Cartae") which exist with respect to the disputes about the building of Caerphilly, and the fact that it is almost certain that Castell Coch must have been built about the same time, and by the same person, namely, Earl Gilbert de Clare, who ruled in Glamorgan from 1262 to 1295. Mr. Clark, in his Mediaeval Military Architecture," expresses the view that Castell Coch might be slightly earlier than Caerphilly, but the two must have been so near in point of date that it would hardly be possible to found any argument as to the order in