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SKENFRITH CASTLE

Skenfrith Castle is the only low-lying fortress of the three castles of Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castle, now known as the castles of the Trilateral. Like the other two castles Skenfrith is remarkably well-preserved, standing mostly to wall walk height. Again we have no early reference as to the foundation of the fortress, though a castle certainly existed here by 1160 when it came into the king’s hands with Grosmont and White Castle. In 1187 the engineer Ralph Grosmont was instructed by King Henry II to rebuild the castle in stone. The eastern wall and possibly north-eastern tower of the castle, built in a totally different style to the rest of the fortress, was constructed by Ralph. However this work proved abortive and Henry II cancelled the building work in 1188 as unnecessary. In 1193, Sheriff William Braose pushed the unfinished castle into rapid service by placing a palisade around the other three sides of the ditch. A prison was later built within the stockade.

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