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Carew Castle

Carew Castle

 

Location: Pembrokeshire County, Wales  Map

Tel. 01437 764551 ext. 5227

Open: Mar 20th- Nov 3rd 2008; 10 am- 5 pm

Nov 4th- Easter 2009; 11 am- 3 pm

 

Price: Adult: £3.50

Family: £9.50

 

 

 

Description of Carew Castle

Carew Castle stands in the Pembrokeshire County in Wales in United Kingdom.  Since the Iron Age this location of Carew Castle was strategically important and remains of the defensive ditch around the castle suggest that there was a fortified stronghold or a village on this site. Additionally several Roman artifacts that date to the first century AD were found here which indicates presence of the Roman garrison on this location. Celtic tribes took over the land and erected cross here. Medieval castle was constructed in the late 13th century by Nicholas de Carew. The walls of the citadel reached a height of 15 meters (49 feet).

 

Carew Castle that you see today dates back to the early 12th century. According to historical records it started as a single free standing keep erected by a Norman noble, Gerald de Windsor to defend his possessions against marauding war bands. In the late thirteen century towers, walls, great hall and several other building were added. The owners of the castle changed names and their names played great role in the history of England. However with new additions that they build here, they also brought grim reminder of price of fame. One of castle's owners, Rhys ap Gruggudd was executed by Henry VIII in 1531 and John Perrot died in the Tower of London in 1592. Their ghosts are still said to haunt castle's walls.

The castle changed hands three times during English Civil war in the 1640's. Royalist forces added earthworks to defend the citadel from the incoming cannon balls and gunfire of the enemy. Its use as a military fort was eventually stopped by Parliamentary forces who tore down south wall of the citadel. Parts of the fortification were occupied till 1686, but owner moved out to more comfortable residence. Since than the Carew castle fell in disrepair and abandoned. Today the Carew family still owns the castle, but it is managed by Pemrokeshire Coast National Park. Besides tours around the castle Park authority organize many other activities including lessons in archery, re-enactment and others.

 

 

Haunting of Carew Castle

Carew Castle is considered to be one of the most haunted castles in Wales as well as all of United Kingdom. Eye witness reported over 20 different entities that still inhabit different parts of the castle. The most famous of these spirits is said to be that of a former pirate captain and his pet, an ape by a sweet name of Satan.

 

Carew Castle is said to be haunted by its former owner Sir Roland Rhys (Rhees or Rees). The legend goes that a former pirate captain bought this castle somewhere in the 17th century with the riches that he got from numerous voyages across the oceans. He was a very mean and ill- tempered man and had no close friends except Barbary macaque that he brought from the North Africa during his trip there. He called him Satan and let him loose inside the castle. The ape proved to be a good pet that mimicked owner's character and liked to bite people for no reason. Sir Roland taught him tricks by whistling that was a signal for Satan to do tricks.

 

It is said on one stormy night monkey attacked Flemish tradesman who came to the castle to pay his rent. Some say he didn't pay enough, others claim that Rhys disliked his son's interest in the tradesman's daughter. Whatever was the cause the old pirate did not stop the macaque. Poor man was rescued by the servants who took badly injured man away. Suddenly a mad laughter and a violent cry resenated through the halls of the Carew Castle. The servants rushed to the Great Hall and saw Rhys lie in the pool of his own blood with his throat cut. Monkey was shot by an arrow and thrown in the fireplace. It was assumed that the monkey finally turned against its owner and in agitation attacked him. Sir Rhys tried to defend himself, but died from a deadly wound. The story was taken as an official cause of death of castle's owner. We don't know what really happened on that stormy night. It might have been a conspiracy of servants who killed their cruel and extravagant owner or it might have been unwillingness to tell the real name of the murderer who erased debts to many people living in the area. However to this day many people claim to see and even hear the famous duo roam the empty halls of their former estate. Some say they even heard Sir Rhys whistle for his only friend and partner Satan in different parts of the Carew Castle.

 

Another famous ghost belongs to Princess Nest who lived in the medieval times. It is said that Henry I of England fell in love with her and father her son. However the king decided to break up with his mistress and gave her away as a wife of Gerald de Windsor. Much older noble got a beautiful new wife and a Carew Castle as a dowry. It seems that both found true love and genuine respect despite strange circumstances of their marriage. All this came to an end when Welsh prince Owain raised his people, attacked the castle and quickly defeated its small garrison. Gerald de Windsor managed to escape, but his beloved wife Nest stayed behind. It took six years for an old noble to gather his forces and recapture the castle. He killed Owain, but was badly wounded in the process. He died shortly thereafter without even seeing his beloved wife he freed. It is said that Princess Nest full body apparition is still visible in some parts of the castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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