Oystermouth Castle has been built, destroyed and rebuilt more than once. It was first built by William de Londres in 1106. The castle stood for about 10 years before it was destroyed in a conflict with the Welsh. The castle was destroyed again in 1137 and finally rebuilt in stone by the de Braose family after the region became less volitile in the 13th century.
The village of Oystermouth, commonly called the Mumbles, is surrounded by the sea to the east and south, and part of Swansea in Wales.
The castle grounds are open to the public and enjoys some 5,000 visitors every year but it is hoped that when conservation work finishes on the castle itself in 2014 that many more tourists will visit.
There are reports that Oystermouth Castle is haunted by a White Lady. The apparition is sometimes described as wailing, crying and suffering from a series of open wounds on her back. Some say she is the ghost of a Oystermouth Castle prisoner who was whipped to death on the Whipping Post that still stands by the dungeon.
In May 2011, a construction worker was tapped on the shoulder while trying to re-open a murder hole. Murder holes were used by defenders to pour boiling oil, water or even burning tarred sand down on attacking soliders – the scene of many horrific deaths. The incident made the local press and the worker, Mike Smith, told reporters;
“I don’t usually believe in the paranormal but it was a strange experience and I know other staff have experienced some odd goings-on at the castle too.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before but there are also stories of people walking dogs close to the castle and seeing their dogs barking hysterically at absolutely nothing at all.”
In Pure Spirit
Have you been to Oystermouth Castle? What did you think? Could the castle be haunted?
Picture credit: Mark Hogan, released under Creative Commons.