Scheduled Monuments- Full Report

Summary Description of a Scheduled Monument

Reference Number
Pennard Castle & Church  
Date of Designation


Unitary Authority

Broad Class
Site Type


Summary Description and Reason for Designation
The monument consists of the remains of a castle and church dating to the medieval period. Pennard was a demesne manor of the lords of Gower, and the first defensive work on the site was a ringwork of the 12th century. A small settlement with church grew up adjacent to the castle. A detached stone hall was built inside this ringwork in the 13th century, as revealed by excavations. The curtain wall and gatehouse were rebuilt in stone in the late 13th or early 14th century. The comparatively flimsy walling and light defences suggest it was built when the threat of Welsh wars had receded, while its gatehouse is a copy of substantial Edwardian gatehouses such as Caerphilly. During the 14th century the court of the lordship was occasionally held at Pennard rather than Swansea. The church conforms to the standard medieval plan of nave and square chancel, and the shape can be clearly seen under the grass, although the only standing masonry is at the west end, standing to a maximum of c.2.5m. The nave measures c. 11m by 5.5m, and the chancel c. 5.0 by 5.5m. The masonry of the west end is intact right across to a height of at least a metre, suggesting that there was no west door; there was no sign of one having been blocked. While the masonry on the inside of the building still retained its original outer face, that on the outside had been either heavily robbed or badly eroded, possibly by sand. The standing length of wall includes putlog holes. There is no fenestration. The church is thought to have been built during the thirteenth century, but by 1478 moving sand was causing damage. The settlement and church suffered the encroachment of sand dunes from the 14th century and the settlement and church were rebuilt further inland. The castle was described as 'desolate and ruinous' in 1650, although an engraving of 1741 by the Buck brothers shows most of the walls standing to their full height. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive practices. The monument is well-preserved and an important relic of the medieval landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both structural evidence and intact associated deposits. The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.  

Cadw : Scheduled Monuments- Full Report [ Records 1 of 1 ]