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Weekend of events to celebrate Montgomery Castle’s 800th birthday

21 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Montgomery Castle – Image: Cadw

A weekend of special events is being planned to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Montgomery Castle later this month.

The events, which include a medieval pageant and street market, begin with a Montgomery Civic Society talk on Friday, September 29 at 7.30pm considering the castle throughout its 800 years.

Montgomery Castle history stretches back to October 1, 1223, when young King Henry III was given Castle Hill to build a fine new castle to celebrate his 16th birthday and assist in keeping the borderlands safe from marauding Welsh native prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great).

An old castle at Hendomen had guarded the important crossing of the River Severn at Rhydwhyman but warfare and incursions were becoming more frequent and concerted and the wooden fort was not in the prime of life.

Perched on its rocky ridge, the new castle was significantly sturdier and more sophisticated, with a stone inner ward, well, deep defensive ditches crossed by drawbridges and a walled town.


The castle remained in use for centuries, surviving attacks by Llywelyn in 1228 and 1231 and Llywelyn’s son Dafydd in 1245. The castle’s ultimate end came during the Civil War, when it fell to the Parliamentarians and was demolished in 1649, leaving just the crumbling towers and low walls that stand today.

Now, 800 years on from its birth, the castle’s birthday will be celebrated with a special full peal of the church bells on Saturday, September 30 followed by a full day of events and activities next day organised by Montgomery Town Council.

A medieval street market will open at 10am and everyone will be invited to the castle for a royal pageant at 10.30am commemorating the visit of Henry III and the gift of the castle lands.

A short entertainment will be followed by a choice of a castle walk, storytelling or a chance to try making medieval crafts or weaponry back in the main street.

There will also be a hog roast with Old Monty’s mulled cider or a special 800 edition Castle Brew from Monty’s. Author Myfanwy Alexander will give an entertaining talk on medieval life, authentic music will be played by Parsley’s Clocke and visitors can try to improve their juggling skills.

The fair will close at around 4pm with the opportunity to view the Old Bell Museum exhibition on the castle for the whole week. A special commemorative book has been produced for the event and more information can be found at .

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9 months ago

Yet another celebration of the invasion and conquest of Wales. Why do we bother ? Is our inferiority complex embedded that deeply ?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Ah, but it is a lovely spot and the blackberries were the best, lovely little town…

I spent five years staring up at Castell Harlech, absolutely hated the place, (the money they spent)…

Last day of my sentence I left a symbolic comment in the highest tower. Scatter my ashes in Pen-y-Dinas, Ardudwy…

I used to spend hours sat looking out over Sarn Padrig, best at low tide in a blow, the white line snaking out into the bay. Littered with wrecks on that lee shore, it must have been a nightmare. See the old gravestones in Llanaber church yard…

Geoffrey Harris
Geoffrey Harris
9 months ago

Yet another celebration of our subjection and humiliation. It’s time to stop this nonsense, no other nation would tolerate this. Cadw must go.

9 months ago

Sad indeed that we appear to celebrate the Iron Ring of our subjugation, but, in reality, many of these castles were built on sites of previous fortification by earlier Welsh tribes.
These iron staples are, by and large, empty of foreign troops now, so, in a way, we’re celebrating our continuing de-colonisation and progress towards full independent statehood, which encourages us to keep resisting, keep fighting until we’re a free Nation.

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