Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


28.6.10
  A Cool Place

With the heat wave we're going to get those next days (up to 35°C, ouch), this place looks rather tempting. The cool if slightly wet cavern can be found under Pembroke Castle in Wales.

Wogan Cave under Pembroke Castle; the watergate

The rock promontory on which the castle is situated is surrounded on three sides by the tidal river Cleddau, also known as Haven Waterway. The cave formed naturally in the limestone rock. It's a large, circular shaped cavern of 80x60 feet with a high vault. The cave must have been occupied by Paleolithic people 12,000 years ago; they left behind some flint tools.

Back of the cavern (no flash used)

Wogan Cave is situated under the Northern Halls and can be reached from the Great Hall by a staircase built into the natural rock with a turret on the outer side (see photo 1, left). The opening has been partly walled in, with a sally port and some windows, and thus became part of the castle's defenses.

Watergate and window in the Norman wall

The cave was connected with the river by a canal that could be used by small ships which then could be unloaded safely from disgruntled Welshmen or Irish pirates. The cave supposedly served as storage room and perhaps as boathouse, too.

The dome

The first Norman castle on the site, built of timber and earth by Roger de Montgomery, dates back to 1090, but the integration of the cave seems to be from the time of William Marshal (owner of Pembroke since 1189) who transformed Pembroke Castle into one of the major Norman stone fortifications in Wales.
 
Comments:
If I ever get a chance to go back to Wales, I definately want to visit Pembroke (since I"m in love with William Marshall...).
 
Oh,that looks so good. I love caves.
 
You get to go to the neatest places! I love seeing all the little nooks and crannies of the castles.
See any Corgis?? :)
 
Wow, I'd love to visit there! (Especially at the moment with the heat! ;)
 
Cool in both senses :-) Very clever of William Marshal to integrate the natural cave into the castle defences and supply system.
 
Daphne, you definitely should. Pemboke is a great place.

Le Loup, caves are interesting but difficult to photograph. We got a few around here as well.

Constance, no corgies I'm afraid. But I spied a plotbunny. :)

Kathryn, it's either raingig or too hot. Why can the weather never be right?

Carla, William Marshal seems to have been a very clever and ressourceful man indeed.
 
William Marshall was one of the most interesting men of that era, for my taste.
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction and Fantasy living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


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