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Angle Tower House

Pembrokeshire, west Wales
OS map reference SM866030

Map link for Angle Tower House

Text & photographs copyright © 2009 by John Northall,
with acknowledgements to CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments

Above: the tower house at Angle Castle


Angle Castle was built in the 14th century to provide secure accommodation for a powerful local family. It overlooks the sheltered anchorage of Angle Bay near the mouth of the Milford Haven estuary and may have been intended as a defence against sea-borne raiders.

The castle is an example of a tower-house, a type of single-tower fortified residence that is common in Ireland, Scotland and the English/Scottish borderlands but is almost non-existent in Wales (another possible example is the main tower at Gwydir). There was a walled and moated enclosure to the north of the tower and the south and west sides were protected by marshy ground. The beach was a short walk away to the east.


Below: an artist’s impression of the tower as shown on the Cadw notice board at the site


The base of the tower contained a storage room that could only be accessed from above until an exterior doorway was added for convenience in the 19th century. The basement had a fireproof stone ceiling so that the occupants of the tower couldn’t be burnt out from below if the wall had been breached.

The tower was entered over a drawbridge at first-floor level, which could be raised to fit into a recess in front of the door. The apertures for the drawbridge mechanism can still be seen above the doorway (below). The entrance was further protected by an overhanging parapet at the top of the tower that allowed defensive fire to be directed at unwanted visitors from above.



The battlements around the roof were supported on corbelling that ran around all sides of the tower, except where the spiral staircase protruded, to provide downward-facing slots that covered the base of the tower.

There were a further two floors above the entrance room that were accessed using the spiral staircase built into one corner of the tower. The standard of accommodation in the castle was good for its day as each floor of the tower had its own fireplace and a gaurderobe, or indoor privy, was also provided.



Below: the fireplace and doorway to the stair on the top floor


Angle castle is not large and did not play a significant part in history, but it is an interesting footnote to the end of castle building in Wales.


Additional Photographs of Angle Castle






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