White Castle: Facts About Llantilio Castle

Here are some facts about White Castle.

  • White Castle, or Llantilio Castle is located about 1.5 km from Llantilio in Monmouthshire, South Wales. Along with nearby Skenfrith Castle and Grosmont Castle, they are sometimes called the Three Castles.

  • The castle is situated close to Offa’s Dyke. This 240 km 8th century earthwork was built to form the boundary between England and Wales; today the boundary still follows much the same path.
  • An earlier castle on the site was made of wood. It was replaced with the existing castle during the 12th century. It was given the name White Castle as the walls were originally whitewashed.
  • King Henry II ordered the castle to be built to strengthen his control over the Welsh. The castle’s position on a hill provided good views in all directions.

White Castle

  • In 1201, Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent took over ownership of White Castle. He is said to have spent a fortune adding the 6 towers to the structure.
  • In the 13th century, the Three Castles were given to future King Edward II and later to his younger brother. They were used as Royal homes and administrative centres.
  • By 1538 all 3 castles were abandoned and in ruins. They were used to store supplies, and as local offices until being cared for by the Welsh government in the early 20th century.
  • The Three Castles walk is a long distance path connecting the three strongholds. The 32 km walk also passes through woodlands and provides good views of the Black Mountains.
  • During World War II, White Castle was painted by Rudolf Hess when he was a prisoner in a nearby military hospital. Hess was Adolf Hitler‘s second in command.
  • The water filled moat can still be seen at White Castle and was one of its defensive features. Other defences included an inner and outer ward, a gatehouse and strong walls and towers.

What next? Visit our castle resources page to discover more facts about castles.