St Donats Castle - Vale of Glamorgan - Wales.
N 51° 24.128 W 003° 31.976
30U E 462928 N 5694679
Quick Description: St Donat's Castle is a medieval Norman castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, overlooking the Bristol Channel in the village of St Donat's near Llantwit Major, Now being used as an International Residential College.
Location: South Wales, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/17/2012 4:42:56 AM
Waymark Code: WMFQ65
St Donats Castle was built in the late 12th century by the Normans.
The castle is still in use, by the University of Wales - Atlantic College is an international residential school based in the UK. Each year, 350 students aged 16 - 18 from 80 different countries benefit from a world-class International Baccalaureate educational experience.
"The de Hawey family, were the Norman family that built the Castle. Ownership passed to the Stradling family in 1298 through the marriage of Sir Peter Stradling to Joan de Hawey. The Stradlings built the outer gatehouse and curtain wall around 1300; they enlarged the keep and inner gatehouse and modified the inner curtain wall at the same time, and built the inner court around 200 years later.
The Stradling family (which included a notable recusant, a well-known antiquary and a Latin poet) owned St Donat's Castle until the death of Sir Thomas Stradling in 1738, when ownership of the castle passed to Sir John Tyrwhitt. Archbishop James Ussher resided there for a time during the Civil War".
Wikipedia: (visit link
) Also informs us
" After seeing photographs of the castle in Country Life magazine, the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst bought it in 1925. Hearst spent a fortune renovating and revitalising the castle, bringing electricity not only to his residence but also to the surrounding area. The locals enjoyed having Hearst in residence at the castle; he paid his employees very well, and his arrivals always created a big stir in a community not used to American excesses. Hearst spent much of his time entertaining influential people at his estates. He is renowned for holding lavish parties at St Donat's; guests included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and a young John F. Kennedy. Upon visiting St Donat's, George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying: "This is what God would have built if he had had the money."
"The Normans came to govern England following one of the most famous battles in English history: the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Four Norman kings presided over a period of great change and development for the country." Text Source:http://www.royal.gov.uk/HistoryoftheMonarchy/KingsandQueensofEngland/TheNormans/TheNormans.aspx
The Normans never defeated Wales, so they had many castles, to try and maintain their Hold on England, and to protect themselves from the Welsh.
"The Normans (in French: Normands ; in Latin Nortmanni) were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock. Their identity emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and gradually evolved over succeeding centuries.
They played a major political, military, and cultural role in medieval Europe and even the Near East. They were famed for their martial spirit and eventually for their Christian piety. They quickly adopted the Romance language of the land they settled, their dialect becoming known as Norman or Norman-French, an important literary language. The Duchy of Normandy, which they formed by treaty with the French crown, was one of the great fiefs of medieval France. The Normans are famed both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture, and their musical traditions, as well as for their military accomplishments and innovations. Norman adventurers established a kingdom in Sicily and southern Italy by conquest, and a Norman expedition on behalf of their duke, William the Conqueror, led to the Norman Conquest of England. Norman influence spread from these new centres to the Crusader States in the Near East, to Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, and to Ireland." Text source: (visit link