Skip to main content

Caerphilly castle

Caerphilly castle, in mid-Glamorgan, a baronial castle begun in 1271 by Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, is ‘one of the most remarkable defensive complexes ever completed by an individual [private] patron in the Middle Ages’. This huge castle is an early example of the principle of concentric fortification and heavily defended gatehouse. It is notable for its extensive water defences, a major engineering feat, involving the construction of a fortified dam to hold the waters in place. This aspect of the castle's defence seems to have been influenced by Gilbert's participation in the siege of Kenilworth in 1266, in which the mere had played an important part in the successful defence of the castle. Caerphilly's scale was possible because Gilbert de Clare was very wealthy. Also as lord of Glamorgan he was subject to the law of the march, which meant that he could build a castle without licence from the king. Further he felt threatened by the possibility of Welsh rebellion and unsure of the king's friendship, as after Simon de Montfort's rebellion he had promoted the cause of the disinherited, supporters of Simon. The result of particular circumstances, it played no significant part in subsequent Welsh history and on Leland's visit 1535–45 was in a ruinous condition.

Lynda Rollason

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Caerphilly castle." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Caerphilly castle." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caerphilly-castle

"Caerphilly castle." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caerphilly-castle

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.