Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

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


Unitary Authority
Feidr Felin  
Street Side
Situated prominently overlooking town. Approached from W via smaller lane named Feidr Felin on O.S. map. Penclawdd is address on electoral roll.  


Broad Class

Medieval castle mostly late C13 of which the major surviving part, the gatehouse, was incorporated into a house 1859 for Sir Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd, Cards, 25th Lord of Cemaes. Castle founded by William Fitz Martin 3rd Lord of Cemaes in 1191, after loss of Nevern Castle; but most of present structures probably date from the time of the 6th Lord, William Fitz Martin (1257-1324) who inherited in 1282, and to a rebuilding after damage in the uprising of Owain Glyndwr ca1405. From 1326 to 1543 the Lords Audley of Heleigh, Staffs, held the barony of Cemaes, but were rarely resident and by the C16, when it was sold to the Owen family of Henllys, the castle had been 'in utter ruin for a long time'.  

Plan: Castle comprises a NE gatehouse with flanking towers, incorporated into the 1859 house, the NW Hunters' Tower, still partly standing to full height, SW Kitchen Tower, largely disappeared, and NE Great Tower of which the ground floor survives with open courtyard and fine ashlar pointed entry. The various curtain walls are largely ruinous, but N of the Great Tower survives the basement of a substantial building, possibly chapel, with vaulted undercroft of 4 cells on central octagonal pier. For full archaeological report, see National Monuments Record, Aberystwyth. Exterior: House itself is built into back of gatehouse tower with main C19 front to S. 2 storey and basement 3 window front with slate eaves roof, crested ridge, ridge stack of 3 stone circular shafts and very large W end round stack with chimneybreast built up from original curtain wall. Windows are unevenly spread, the upper windows cambered-headed square sashes with marginal glazing bars, stone voussoirs and slate sills, the centre window slightly higher and under an eaves gable. Ground floor has one longer similar sash aligned under first floor right window, gabled stone porch to right and hipped-roofed timber square bay window to left, aligned between centre and left windows above. Porch has pointed arch, slated eaves roof and crested ridge tiles. Bay window has French windows to front. Basement has cambered headed casement. To right of house a lean-to roof abuts a square medieval tower, the rear of the E side of the gatehouse structure; the roof appears to be a post 1859 addition built over the vaulted medieval stairs down to the gatehouse passage. C19 pointed arched porch with flat roof. House is L-plan and 3-storeys on N side, where windows are pierced through medieval masonry. Original gatehouse was of 2 round towers flanking entry, but that to E has been rebuilt flat-fronted, having collapsed in early C19, with 2 lancets and picturesquely ruinous top. Central part, site of former entry is largely rebuilt, with three C19 cambered-headed casement windows, vertically aligned and corbelled embattled parapet. West tower retains its original rounded form on battered base, 3 stages each slightly recessed then corbel table and ruinous octagonal cap. C19 arched light to basement front and first floor NE. W return of gatehouse tower has two C19 arched lights to basement, big first floor timber 3-light window with transom and stone cambered head, and casement pair above under stone eaves gable. Rear of main front range is built out from curtain wall with basement triple casement, first floor big timber oriel on wooden brackets, with hipped slate roof and 3-light gabled half-timbered dormer in roof. W end wall has ground floor timber cross-window and casement pair above. Blank shield plaque in gable.  

House interior is relatively plain for the C19 work, with clear evidence that additions post-1859 have been made on E end. Pointed rough vaults survive on both sides of the original entry passage, wall recesses and other extensive remains of the medieval structure. The centre staircase of the new work runs up from basement level entrance passage of original gatehouse. Plain open-well timber stair not relating clearly to C19 front door, possibly altered post 1859. 6-panel doors and simple fireplaces.  

Reason for designation
Listed at grade I as an outstanding survival of Anglo-Norman castle building in West Wales and the C19 house built within is an unusual example of C19 romanticism associated with Sir Thomas Lloyd's revival of the customs of the Barony of Cemaes. Scheduled Ancient Monument Pe 87 (unoccupied parts)  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]