Standing on a hill overlooking the town of Usk, on a site probably already used for many centuries to guard the river crossing, the castle was first mentioned in 1138, and the Norman gatehouse was probably built in the 12th century by the de Clare family.
The castle was fortified by William Marshal between 1212 and 1213 by the removal of the wooden palisade which was replaced by a stone wall as well as other fortifications to the site.
He was famous for his skill in castle building learnt during his time spent in the Holy land on Crusade and in Normandy. The design for the Garrison Tower at Usk, where the wall-walk was likely to be his work.
The castle passed into the hands of his sons, although it was Richard Marshal who had to re-capture the castle from Henry III in 1233. When the Marshal line died out, it eventually fell into the hands of Edward II’s friend and ally, Hugh Despenser.
The site is owned privately and more information can be found on the website www.uskcastle.com.