Boverton Village & Castle

     Boverton Castle

Boverton Castle (Manor House)

Boverton Village, near Llantwit Major, has stood since the time of William the Conqueror (1028-1087).  The main point of interest these days is the ruins of Boverton Manor also known as Boverton Castle, that was built by Robert Fitzhamon, a 12th century Norman conqueror of Glamorganshire in South Wales.

boverton manor hous
Boverton Manor House
Boverton Village Square

During the reign or Richard 1st the manor house was owned by the Earl of Gloucester.  His daughter Hadwisa went on to marry Prince John and it is rumoured that this union lead to something quite sinister in the Manor that was witnessed hundreds of years later.

Boverton Manor (left and above)is rumoured to have a ghost called the "Black Lady" who terrified some workmen during the early 19th Century.  The ghost was dressed in black mourning clothes (hence the name Black Lady) and believed to be the restless spirit of Hadwisa, estranged wife of King John.  He had divorced her and banned her to exile in the Manor house.  However, still being in love with him, she lived a sad and pitiful existence there for the rest of her days, and it was her forlorn appearance made itself known to the workmen along with the sound of her mournful sobs.

It was later rebuilt in the 17th Century as a fortified manor house by Roger Seys who was the attorney general of Wales, but then fell into decay.

Boverton Manor is currently fenced off and can only be seen from the road outside, but it is well worth just standing there and soaking up some of its history. There have been no reported sightings of a ghost there in recent years, but that's not to say that the Black Lady won't appear again.

Further Posts/Articles relating to Vale of Glamorgan, Wales - see archive list in right hand column or Vale of Glamorgan Page also linked at top of page

Ogmore Castle, Vale of Glamorgan.

Ogmore Castle is situated in St. Bride's Major, Vale of Glamorgan on the east bank of the River Ogmore and south of the River Ewenny.  The castle stands at what was once a strategic position to protect the towns of Bridgend and Coity situated further inland to the north and east. 

What was originally a timber fortification, Ogmore Castle was later
ogmore castle fire hearth
Old Fire Hearth, Ogmore Castle.
reinforced by stone and when looking up inside the Great Hall, the remains of the upper first floor can be seen with a large and ornate fireplace and arched windows.

The Castle is thought to date back to before the Norman Invasion but was given to William de Londres by Robert Fitzhamon who was the Norman conqueror of Glamorgan.

In 1116, whilst William was away, his butler Arnold successfully defended the Castle against a Welsh invasion, and was later knighted, Sir Arnold Butler and given Ogmore Castle along with the nearby Dunraven Manor as a reward for his bravery.

main gate, ogmore castle
Ogmore Castle Main Entrance
(from inside the grounds)
I find that old castles are amongst my favourite places to visit in Wales, having visited many of them in my youth both alone and on our school outings. Ogmore Castle, whilst not huge, certainly captures the imagination. The tranquil peace of the area where it is situated, plays on the imagination and I can often "hear" the battles that seem to echo
Ogmore Castle Main Entrance
Ogmore Castle, Main Entrance
around ancient walls and ruined battlements,  now silenced by the passing of the centuries.  Ogmore Castle has free admission and whilst not a large structure to explore it is a great place to visit for a picnic or to play games with the kids hopping across on the River Ogmore on the stepping stones adjacent to the Castle

The Ghost of Ogmore Castle
The legend goes that a local man once accosted the White Lady - the ghost of Lady Ogmore - demanding that she give him some gold that he knew she had hidden in the castle.  She led him upstairs into the one of the towers and beckoned him to raise a large stone slab from the floor.  There under the slab, was a container full of golden guineas. She told him that he could take half but leave the other half for her.  He accepted her offer and left with his windfall. Later on though, he was overcome by greed and couldn't see why he should not have the entire fortune. After all, what would a ghost do with such a worldly fortune anyway? So he returned to the castle get it.  As he was about to take the money, the ghost caught him in the act. He tried to talk his way out of it, saying that she was mistaken and that he was only checking on it.  But the White Lady knew that theft was in his heart and set about him, slashing deeply into his flesh with her talons.  He left Ogmore Castle bruised, bloodied and badly injured but made it home. There was a lot of questioning as to how he got these bruises and he must have confessed to the truth  just before he died of his wounds because his sickness and subsequent death was referred to as the White Lady's Revenge.

Llantwit Major: Ghost Story

Llantwit Major, being one of the most ancient villages in Wales just has to have a ghost story or two.

River Ogmore & Castle Ruins
River Ogmore & Castle Ruins
A tailor in the town had a wife called Barbara who's dying mother-in-law entrusted to her the task of distributing her wealth equally with the rest of the family. However, Barbara's head was turned by the wealth and she decided to say nothing of the inheritance and keep it for herself.  But the ghost of her husband's mother returned to exact vengeance on the woman for her dishonesty. She did this at first by constantly pinching Barbara all over her body whilst she rested in bed each night, completely depriving her of sleep. This continued until Barbara felt very ill and was covered in bruises.  At this point the ghost reappeared and ordered her to either share the money equally with the family, or throw it downstream into the River Ogmore.

Barbara, not wanting to reveal the theft to the family by sharing the wealth at this late date, decided to throw the money into the river, thinking that this would allow her to keep the respect of the family.  However, it seems that she had more trickery in mind and  did not throw it downstream as she had agreed, but upstream. I don't know why she threw it upstream, but it suggests to me that the was trying to trick the ghost and would set about retrieving it later.  But the ghost was obviously not stupid and this didn't work for the hapless Barbara and threw her into a deep whirlpool in the river.  She was found later by some villagers battered and bruised, but with no memory of what had happened.

The ghost returned again and haunted the home that she shared with her innocent husband and children with ghostly bumps and crashes for the rest of their days. The story goes  that even her children were punished. Locals were said to be "ghost ridden"

Site Navigation Page

Places in Wales
 Site Navigation Page

Please click on any links below that captures you interest.... 

Return to Home Page

Brecon Beacons The Brecon Beacons cover 1,344 sq. kms. (approx 519 sq. miles) and is mostly sparsely populated moorland grazed by ponies and sheep and are abundant in wild life, inhabited by foxes, badgers, pole cats, squirrel, and a large variety of birds.. The park is visited by huge numbers of tourists during the summer with pony trekking and hill walking a common sight.For the Railway enthusiast, the Brecon Mountain Railway.  Read more...

Caerphilly Castle  Caerphilly Castle is claimed to be one of the largest Castles in Europe, occupying a ground-space of around 30 acres(12 ha). However it is the second largest castle in Britain. Windsor Castle is the largest.Legend has it that the Castle is plagued by creature called the Gwrach-y-Rhibyn, which I think is a sort of a cross between a banshee and a ghoul. Probably female because she is known as the "night hag!  Read more...

 Cardiff City Cardiff is a very attractive city to the visitor. It is an under-statement to say the architecture is very eye-­catching, with it's Norman Castle and Edwardian civic centre, surrounded by flowering trees and ornate flower beds.The history of Cardiff Castle goes back to the eleventh century. It was built on the site of a derelict Roman fort and many non-Welsh people settled there. This brought about many attacks from the surrounding villages of the native Welsh.  Read more...

Royal Horticultural Show, Cardiff   It is generally in the month of April each year that the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) holds its first Flower Show of the year in Cardiff.What has always impressed me about the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff is the friendliness and freely-given advice by the exhibitors that attend. There are  many stalls that sell plants and flowers of all descriptions.  And the latest garden tools..  Read more...  

Kidwelly Castle  There's something magical about the ancient castle, that for me seemed to come alive with knights, swords and great battles. It is said that Kidwelly is haunted by the headless ghost of Gwenllian and in recent years that have been reports of strange sightings there. The Normans considered Gwenllian Ferch Gruffyd, wife of the Welsh prince, Gruffyd ap Rhys, seriously. Gwenllian and has often referred to a ‘Welsh Boudicca’ who caused the Norman invaders no end of problems. Her life story is fascinating…  Read more...

Swansea City  The name Swansea was derived from the original 'Sweyns-ey' or Sweyn's island. Sweyn it is believed was a Dane (probably a Viking), who built a fort there around 1000 AD in order to carry out his raids around Wales.  An island because it stood on the estuary or the River Tawe - not really an island in the conventional sense. The Welsh name for Swansea is Abertawe. Aber is a Breton word meaning for mouth of a river or estuary. Tawe being the name of the River Tawe.  Swansea has always been popular with tourists being right on the doorstep of the Gower Peninsular, famous for some of the most beautiful coast line in South Wales...  Read more... 

Tintern Abbey  Tintern Abbey is quite an awesome structure and was built in the early 12th century. In 1348 the Black Death visited the area and many of the monks at Tintern perished. The Abbey then stood for a few hundred years until the 16th century when Henry VIII ordered its destruction... There have been reports that Tintern Abbey has its ghosts... Read more

Vale of Glamorgan   The Vale of Glamorgan is at the southern-most tip of South Wales and had a host of places to visit in Wales such as villages, hamlets, historical buildings and sites. The Vale runs from Penarth (nr Cardiff) in the East to Ogmore-By-Sea in the west.   Read more of places to visit in the vale through these links...  Old Beaupré Castle,   Dyffryn House & Gardens,   Llantwit Major Llantwit Major Beach  Ogmore Castle,  Boverton Village & Castle,   Neolithic Tinkinswood & St Lythan Burial Chamber.

Cefn Cribwr Iron Works Ruins In 1770 an industrialist named John Bedford from Birmingham came to South Wales with a dream of creating the greatest iron works in South Wales, and built a blast furnace in Cefn Criwbr, a small village near the town of Bridgend.  The site he purchased was "2 miles in length,  and is now known as Bedford Park which occupies 40 acres  of land...  Read more...

Some Welsh Stories and Legends

Welsh Legends: Merlin & Vortigern  King Vortigern was a warlord that lived in the 5th century AD just after the Romans had left the British Isle to fight invaders back in Europe. It is suggested that he historically existed, but that Votigern was his title rather than his name. What follows in this story has not been proven as historical fact so considered to be a legend of betrayal and sorcery involving the greatest magician ever, Merlin!   Read more...

The Welsh in America (pt.1) We can go back as far as medieval times to find a Welsh connection to America, albeit by a  legend of a Welsh Prince who discovered America. This was claimed to be in the year 1170, some three centuries before Columbus first landed on American shores...   Read more...

 The Welsh in America (pt.2)   Around the end of the 18th century, one of the first Welsh colonies of Baptists was established in Cambria, Pennsylvania and the Welsh culture and Baptist religion was established there by one Morgan John Rhys, an evangelical Baptist minister from South Wales. The Welsh language was used and adhered to by the inhabitants. Pennsylvania was originally called New Wales, but the King renamed it Pennsylvania – Pen means ‘head’ in Welsh. Cambria is the Latin word for Wales, and was derived from the Welsh word Cymru, also meaning Wales...  Read more...