#111 Dinefwr Castle
Dyfed, Wales
This is NOT an official Lego site

Dinefwr first appears in history when it is recorded that in 1165 the fabled Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd "took...the castle of Dinefwr", maintaining it until his death in 1197. While the castle obviously existed before he captured it, it is presumed that the powerful conqueror and consolidator of the ancient Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth would strengthen and enhance his capitol seat in a manner commensurate with his stature. For this reason and because Dinefwr Castle is defined on three sides by the rocky promontory upon which it rests, I have dated the current castle approximately with its date of acquisition by Lord Rhys. By 1190 Dinefwr is described as one of three ancient Welsh royal seats, along with Aberffraw [Gwynedd] and Pengwern [Powys]. Notably in September 1220, Llywelyn the Great refers to Dinefwr in a letter to King Henry III as the "once famous, now ruined" castle. However, additions continued to be built from the middle of the 13th century until well into the 14th. The atrocious "summer house" atop the donjon and the stone staircase (see photos) were added in 1750 and of course are excluded from the model.
The death of Lord Rhys in 1197 saw Deheubarth quarreled over by his sons. Maelgwyn ap Rhys held Dinefwr just until 1204, when his nephews Rhys Ieuanc and Owain took it from him. By 1213 Rhys Ieuanc was again trying to capture the castle, this time from another uncle, Rhys Gryg. The quarreling weakened the kingdom and both Rhys Gryg and his son Rhys Mechyll paid homage to Henry III to keep the peace. Dinefwr continued mostly in Welsh hands, even through the collapse of Dafydd ap Llywelyn's revolt of 1246 and Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's invasion of southwest Wales in 1257. When Edward I gained the English throne in 1272, he soon tired of Llywelyn's defiance and invaded Wales in 1277. Despite early submission by several Welsh princes, Dinefwr was confisticated by the King. In 1287 Rhys ap Maredudd, the only powerful decendent of Lord Rhys (great grandson) attacked and captured Dinefwr, killing the constables and others. English retribution was swift as an English army of 11,000 laid seige to nearby Dryslwyn Castle, where Rhys was headquartered. Dinefwr remained a royal castle thereafter, though it was seriously damaged by fire in 1316 during a Welsh revolt.
Decorated entrance arch Great Hall looking north Great Hall looking south


Aerial Drawing Ground Floor Plan Drawing of Residential Range


Photos of the Lego Model
Built August-October, 2006
The model is meant to look like Dinefwr would have looked after the repair and strengthening of 1330.
Construction began August 29. The
modest barbican is in the forground
with the great tower outlined.
From the northwest the corner
tower, hall and chamber block
begin to take shape (Sept. 8)
Here is the finished castle from
the south, with the guarded
barbican and huge donjon.
From the west the strategic
importance of the hilltop location
can be appreciated.
From the north, the northwest
tower is the most prominent
feature of Dinefwr Castle.
The view from the northeast displays
the impressive residential range.
The steep slope approaching the
east side of Dinefwr adds to the
castle's military advantage.
Finally a view of the courtyard
featuring the residential range.

Build Your Own Lego Castle
Top Down Lego Plan
East Elevation
South Elevation
West Elevation
North Elevation
Courtyard Elevation of
the Residential Range


Other Dinefwr Castle pages:

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Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney