Saturday, 8 October 2011

Take a tour of castle

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, September 17, 2011, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.




















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Take a tour of castle
A big day out!
RICHARD THOMAS heads to …
Oystermouth Castle in Swansea.
WHY?
The Norman stone castle overlooking the Mumbles reopened in July with a fantastic event which included falconry displays and medieval themed shows. This month the Friends of Oystermouth Castle will be holding photographic exhibitions at the castle where visitors can see photographs of the battlement over the years by local photographers.
QUIRKY HISTORY?
Oystermouth Castle was built around 1100 by William de Londres and later rebuilt in the 13th century by the infamous de Breos family, after being burnt down by the Welsh twice. Like a lot of buildings with a long and violent history there is a ghost story attached to the castle. Known as The White Lady of Oystermouth Castle, this apparition of a woman dressed all in white has been experienced many times by visitors to the battlement. The White Lady is usually seen weeping, with the back of her dress ripped away and a series of bloody welts on her back. The woman then abruptly vanishes before confused onlookers can offer her any assistance. Reports of the woman in white go back centuries, leading some paranormal investigators to believe she might have died after being tortured on the medieval whipping post which still stands in the castle’s dungeon.
WHAT TO TAKE?
There is a small charge for admission into the castle to help towards conservation work currently underway at the site. Their admission prices are:
Adult: £1
Concession: 80p
PTL: 60p
Children under five go for free. There are currently no credit/debit card facilities on the castle site, though, so don’t forget to bring cash. Also, make sure you wear suitable footwear for the uneven terrain.
LOOK OUT FOR?
In July a new 30-foot-high glass bridge opened allowing access to the part of the castle called Alina's Chapel for the first time in hundreds of years. The chapel was added to the castle in the 14th century and marks the attraction’s highest medieval point.
WHEN TO GO?
The castle will be open daily between 11am and 5pm until 30 September. Last admissions are 30 minutes before closing. Next weekend (24 and 25 September) there is a special Medieval Costume Weekend with Ostreme Theatre Players, where you'll be able to wander around the castle and catch a glimpse of 14th century characters like Lady Alina and her father William de Breos.
WHERE TO GO?
Oystermouth Castle is located in a beautiful location on the hill in Mumbles overlooking Swansea Bay. Follow the A4067 into Mumbles and then turn right up Newton Road at the mini-roundabout by the White Rose. The castle is halfway up Newton Road on the right hand side. For sat nav users the castle’s postcode is SA3 5TA.
CONTACT DETAILS?
For further information contact Oystermouth Castle Community Officer Erika Kluge on 01792 635075 or visit www.swansea.gov.uk/oystermouthcastle.

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