Built: Around the 14th Century
Location: Tretower, Powys, Wales
History: The Tretower Court and Castle make up a property which for over 900 years has been altered and adapted to keep up with the style and tastes of the time.
The castle was used for defensive purposes but also as a place of residence. However, by 1400 the domestic residence had moved to Tretower Court, but the castle survived and continued to be used as a military fortress in times of war
Review: The village of Tretower contains a circular keep and one of the finest late medieval houses in Wales. This idyllic setting leads to a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
The tour begins at the castle, which is reached by crossing the meadow to the back of the court. As an added bonus, if you are in need of some company there may be some chickens which might follow you.
The castle sits on the north bank of the river Usk, the remains that are visible today show that the castle was clearly used for defense purposes. However, I learned that it was not only used for defense, this castle was a prized domestic residence and a status symbol. The quality of the ornamental stonework exceeds what is required for defensive purposes alone, ranking it amongst the best castles in Wales.
Although the keep is small, you can still see what it would have looked like and how it would have worked. There are not any secret passageways here, but it still interesting to see how it differs to others, structurally and for living purposes.
By the start of the 1400s Tretower Court became the living residences.
The ground floor is interesting, particularly as it has been redesigned to show what it might have looked like. This is a brilliant way for children and even adults, like myself, to actually feel like a part of history.
The highlight of this Court must be in the west range with the great hall. As in the fifteenth century, a high table has been positioned on a dais at the far end. There is a large fireplace in the west wall, with a restored window to either side. It is a marvelous view to actually see this and I fully appreciated the effort that had gone into restoring it to its glory.
The only disappoint that I had was that the top floor had not been decorated to the same standard as the ground floor or had not been decorated at all. Hopefully, with time this will change.
It was, however, a nice surprise to find that once I had finished exploring the house, there was still more to look out outside.
In a beautiful design, the garden had been redesigned to portray that of a medieval garden. Two things came from this, the garden looked stunning and secondly, it smelt amazing. I could have quite happily sat down then and there, just to enjoy the tranquility of the place.
This really is a nice place to view, and it came as quite a surprise when I walked around because it was not what I expected, nor had I even heard of it till I went looking online for places to visit.
It is well worth a trip if you are nearby.
The feature picture is taken from http://www.daytripfinder.co.uk/tretower-court-and-castle/photo-gallery/57846