Oxwich Castle is a Grade I listed castle which occupies a position on a wooded headland overlooking Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula, Wales. Although it may occupy the site of an earlier fortification, it is a castle in name only as it is a grand Tudor fortified manor house built in courtyard style
A castle in name only but hugely impressive
Appearances can be deceptive. Oxwich Castle, towering splendidly above the wide sweep of Oxwich Bay, isn’t really a castle at all.
It’s a magnificent Tudor manor house built by an ambitious father and son whose mock-military flourishes are all about social climbing rather than defence.
From the moment you walk through the imposing gateway emblazoned with the arms of Sir Rice Mansel, it’s clear this was the home of a gentry family looking to be movers and shakers in the prosperous years of the 16th century.
Sir Rice’s relatively humble south range, used as a farmhouse for about 200 years until 1954, is still intact. But his son Edward’s extravagant south range, with its two-storey hall and elegant long gallery with stupendous sea views, now lies in ruins.
Outside the courtyard are the remains of an immense dovecote with 300 nests. This was partly to provide the castle with year-round fresh meat – and partly just to show off. Remarkably Oxwich is still owned by descendants of the Mansel family.