Hay Castle

History & Heritage

Hay Castle

Hay Castle is one of the great medieval defense structures on the border of England and Wales still standing. Built in the late 12th century by the powerful Norman Lord William de Braose, its history is long and turbulent. The castle was sacked by Llewelyn II, the last prince of Wales, in 1233, and rebuilt under the custody of Henry III. Centuries of turmoil followed until the 15th century, when the castle passed into the hands of the Beaufort Estates.

The remains of the castle include a four-storey keep and a beautiful arched gateway. The multi-gabled Jacobean manor was severely damaged by fire in 1939, and again in 1977. Remnants of the 18th century formal gardens and 19th century terraced gardens can still be seen.

The site of Hay Castle is inspiring. One can easily imagine the Jacobean manor becoming a vibrant centre for history and the arts, with an atrium, designed to complement the existing stonework, as a stunning venue for exhibitions of all kinds.  The buildings and the grounds are perfectly suited for musical and dramatic performances, cultural events performing arts, cultural events and workshops. The possibilities are indeed exciting.


Visit Hay On Wye a pretty town set in magnificent countryside on the east bank of the River Wye. Hay is at the northernmost point of the Brecon Beacons National Park and is bounded by the Black Mountains to the west and south.

It is an international destination for bibliophiles, with over twenty fascinating bookshops to browse, many selling specialist and collectable books. There are also many boutique shops and what must be one of the most luxurious small cinemas in the country!

Walking in Hay On Wye is the easiest way to enjoy outdoor activities, get closer to nature and leave behind the hustle and bustle of modern everyday life.

Visit Herefordshire and explore a county of rolling, green countryside interrupted by villages steeped in history and interest. There’s plenty to see and do but there’s no escaping the sense of peace and fresh air.

Find events in Hay On Wye, what’s happening, when and where, during your stay.

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Hereford HR3 5DF Castle Street, Hay On Wye, Herefordshire, HR3 5DF, UK
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