LAST week, we looked at the history of Cardigan Castle and how it often changed hands while under the ownership of the first two King Edward’s.

This week, we will take a look at life at the castle under King Edward III in the mid-1300s.

We begin in December 1336 as John de Hampslope was named deputy constable of the castle following the death of constable Hugh de Frene.

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John de Hampslope held the position until it was given to Gilbert Turberville on January 28, 1337.

A number of repairs were ordered to be done to the castle the following year and in a 1341 survey, it was said that the prison tower was completely collapsed, and it was advised that repairs be done.

The castle at this point was in the hands of Edward, The Black Prince, but managed by the constable.

In August 1343, another survey of the castle was done and a multitude of defects were said to have been found.

The survey was ordered by deputy constable William Deneys. It said that the castle was the most dilapidated royal castle in Wales and that repairs were needed to be done to the cost of £814.

It is believed that Turberville died at the Siege of Calais on August 20, 1347, and on September 1, Roland Deneys was named constable.

Deneys had been given the castle and the stewardship of Cardigan following a royal pardon. He had been imprisoned by the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1329 as a rebel, but when he was released from the Tower of London in 1332, he served overseas for King Edward III and was given a royal pardon in 1346.


Deneys carried out extensive work with the Black Prince – King Edward III’s oldest son Edward – and was captured in 1353 during the Breton Expedition. The king paid £100 ransom for his return.

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Deneys died in 1361 and the Black Prince in 1376. His widow Princess Joan ran an administration from the castle under her own rule and not the crown and the castle was granted its own ‘exchequer’.

Her son would become King Richard II which helped excel her power in Britain and the privileges the castle had.

She appointed Sir Lewis Clifford as constable in 1378, the year after her son became king.

When she died in 1385, Carmarthen attempted to have Cardigan Castle’s privileges abolished, however, in 1388, it was decided that the exchequer at the castle would continue and the castle carried its own seal.

The castle’s hall became the location for Great and Petty Sessions held by the burgesses of the county in 1395.

In 1401, custody of the castle was passed to Thomas de Percy who was given licence to buy military equipment for the castle in preparation of a rebellion by Owain Glyndwr. De Percy, however, would switch sides in 1403 and would be executed as a traitor.

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At the time of de Percy’s execution, Richard, 1st Lord Grey of Codnor, was given custody of the castle among others when he was named Royal Lieutenant in South Wales.

Sir Hugh Mortimer was given the constable position at the castle in 1402.

The Duke of York – Edward of Norwich – took over the Royal Lieutenant position on October 1403, and took over the castle’s custody. He would die at the Battle of Agincourt.

Next time, we will look at the castle’s ownership after the death of the Duke of York.

With thanks to Glen Johnson.