Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oxwich Castle

Built during the early 16th century, Oxwich Castle is believed to stand on the site of a vanished Norman castle, alongside an ancient trackway dating back to the Celtic Christian period.  

Owned by the wealthy Mansel family, Sir Rice Mansel (1487-1559) was the first renovating architect who built the southern range.  However, it was his son Sir Edward who was responsible for adding the much grander eastern range and that Elizabethan ‘must-have’ gallery and hall.  

Despite all this ambitious building work, the Mansel family’s occupancy proved relatively short lived and by the early 17th century the castle was empty, the southern block converted into a farmhouse and leased to tenants.  

The Bevan family occupation dates from 1698-1917 and spans over two hundred years and a part of four individual centuries.  By the beginning of the 18th century Rowland Bevan and his wife Joan were farming at the Castle. Their son Francis baptised at St. Illytd’s on 15th April 1730 took over the tenancy after his father’s death in 1760.  Francis was Silvanus’ great grandfather and Ann’s great-great grandfather.   In his turn, Ann’s father George took over the tenancy and Ann and her sisters and brother grew up at ‘Castle.’ 

The black and white photographs of Oxwich Castle date from the beginning of the 20th century.

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