These imposing waterside ruins stand on the bank of the River Usk, in the centre of the city. The castle now defends itself from modern developments on three sides, with its back to the tidal waters and its eastern walls the only visible remains. The curtain walls once enclosed a rectangular ward, around which ran the moat, filling each high tide.
The castle was built either by Hugh d’Audele, or his son-in-law, the Earl of Stafford, and dates to between 1327 and 1386. Its initial construction reflects the importance of Newport as the governing and administrative centre of Gwynlliog, a region within the wider territory of Glamorgan. At some point the castle was also visited by Jasper Tudor. Later developments were added in the 15th century by Humphrey Stafford, the first Duke of Buckingham. The third Duke was beheaded in 1521, after which the upkeep of the castle ceased. It was derelict and falling down by the 18th century.
Notable surviving features of the castle include the great central tower with its watergate and portcullis, vaulted ceilings, the remains of the lord’s apartments, fireplaces, and a spiral staircase within one of the renovated octagonal corner turrets. Much of the original decorative stonework, of old Red Sandstone and white Dundry stone, is also still visible.
The castle is currently closed due to health and safety reasons, and there are no plans to reopen. However, its many attributes are visible from pavements and the adjacent road bridge. When open, admission is free, there is disabled access and dogs are allowed in on a lead.
Need a place to stay?
Take a look at our wonderful holiday cottages in Newport.