Oxwich Castle — Conservation Action

Conservation Action at Oxwich Castle

Conservation Action at Oxwich Castle

Stonemasons from Cadwraeth Cymru, Cadw’s conservation works arm, have almost finished carving the blocks of a replacement head for the main gateway to Oxwich Castle. The two original stones have deteriorated to such an extent that there is a real danger that parts of the Tudor entrance could collapse.

The gateway at Oxwich Castle was built by Sir Rice Mansell in 1557 and is made memorable by the well-preserved decorative plaque above the arch featuring his coat of arms.

The original door head was fashioned from a green sandstone from a now exhausted quarry at Quarella in Bridgend. The same stone was used at a number of other monuments in south Wales including Cadw’s castles at Kidwelly, Ogmore and Weobley.

Since Quarella stone is no longer available, it was agreed that the best match would be stone of similar colour and texture from the Forest of Dean.

Two of Cadwraeth Cymru’s skilled banker masons based in Haverfordwest, Kevin Dalkin and Rob Fear, began the job of cutting the new stones to the original profiles by drawing up templates based on the evidence from the surviving door head. The two sections of the door head weigh about ½ tonne each, and the two craftsmen had to overcome problems with lifting and turning them while dressing the blocks. They have turned out work of the highest quality.

The new door head is to be put in place on Tuesday, 23 October. Visitors are invited to Oxwich between 10.00am and 4.00pm to watch as the new door head is lifted into its final position. There will be opportunities to speak to members of Cadwraeth Cymru about the work and a slide show documenting the carving of the stones will be on display.