Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Candleston Castle  


Unitary Authority
Merthyr Mawr  
Street Side
Approximately 1.2km WSW of Merthyr Mawr church, on the E (inland) side of sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr Warren, and at the end of a minor road W of Merthyr Mawr village.  


Broad Class

Only the tower remains of a C14 fortified manor house built by the de Cantelupes. The present hall block was added c1500. During the C16 and C17 it was owned by the Herbert family of Swansea and Neath. During this period a wing with outshut was added to the hall, and a stable was added to the tower. The house was inhabited by Sir John Nicholl, who purchased Candleston Castle with the Merthyr Mawr Estate in 1804, while his new house at Merthyr Mawr was built 1806-9. Brick dressings identify alterations made in this phase. The castle was subsequently abandoned.  

Ruined castle of rubble stone comprising a 2-storey hall range oriented N-S (consisting of undercroft and 1st-floor hall), with the remains of a wing attached to W side, a 2-stage tower at S end of hall, to which a stable wing is attached to E. On W side is remains of a faceted curtain wall forming a rough D-shape in plan. The tower is slightly narrower than the hall range and is set back from its W wall. It has, in its S wall, a small stair light L and a large opening to centre in the upper stage, with putlog holes to R. In the E wall is a central segmental-headed opening in the upper stage (with voussoirs missing). In the W wall are 2 small stair lights to R and the curtain wall attached to the SW angle. The tower is entered in N wall to R, from the undercroft to the hall, and leads to remains of a mural stair. The tower has a vaulted undercroft entered from the hall range through a 2-centred doorway with stop-chamfer surround. At the top of the stairs is one stop-chamfered jamb of a doorway leading into the upper chamber. The upper chamber has a garderobe in the NE corner entered through a doorway with remains of a triangular head. In the N wall a doorway is cut through to hall to R and in centre is a single corbel of a possible former corbelled external stack to hall. In the W wall is a narrow doorway with a lancet head giving access to stone steps R and L up to a former wall walk on the curtain wall. The W wall of the hall range has an inserted doorway R with window above. To the L is a similar 1st-floor window with a blocked doorway below (visible only inside). The ground is banked up against the E wall, where there is one upper-storey window (lower storey openings are visible only inside the building). The original entrance to the hall range was at the N end of the W wall, where the wing was later added. The jambs of outer and inner arches survive of this original doorway, and have wave-moulded chamfers and haunches of Tudor arches. The doorway originally led to stairs to the 1st-floor hall and to the R of the doorway is a cross wall in the undercroft, which has a fireplace with a segmental head and an infilled hearth. Above it is a single moulded corbel, and to its R is a Tudor-headed doorway leading up to the hall. One jamb of the doorway into the hall is above and to L of the fireplace. A later fireplace is inserted into the E wall of the undercroft, to the R of which is a blocked window. In the S wall of the hall is a fine Tudor-Gothic chimneypiece, with remains of a Tudor head, and with filleted jambs carried up as shafts with foliage trails in hollow chamfers above the fireplace to support a former shelf. To the L of fireplace is the doorway to the tower. The wing has, in the S wall, an inserted doorway to L with brick jambs (later blocked), a similar blocked doorway to the R with segmental brick head, and a window upper R. In the W gable end is an inserted window upper centre with brick jambs and a segmental head, blocked with stone. To the L are openings in a former outshut, consisting of a wide doorway (with one jamb repaired in brick) and a small opening above in a dressed stone surround. In the N wall of the wing are chamfered jambs of a doorway to the R at low level, the doorway now blocked with stone. The stable has a 4-window S wall (now detached from tower). A doorway to the R has segmental head, former doorways to the L and R of centre are converted to windows (with brick head to L). The window L of centre is narrowed in a brick surround. The windows to the R in the upper storey have brick heads, and a window L of centre is blocked. The ground level built up against the gable end and the rear. The curtain wall is ruinous and discontinuous, and has C19 battlements.  


Reason for designation
Listed Grade II* Candleston Castle is an important example of a medieval fortified house. Scheduled Ancient Monument: GM095(BRI).  

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