Carreg Cennen

While the exterior face of the castle presents an impression of strength and defiance, much of the interior of Carreg Cennen is considerably ruined, the result of demolition in 1462 after the Wars of the Roses. Nevertheless, we can still gain an accurate image of how the medieval fortress would have appeared. What we can see are the remains of several buildings, spaced along the walls of the inner ward. The formidable twin-towered gatehouse on the north wall was the main entry point into the inner courtyard. Immediately before the gatehouse are the remains of the Middle Gate Tower, the last line of defense before the gatehouse was breached. If attackers advanced to this point, they would have been met by a rain of arrows from this tower. (The basement level of the Middle Gate Tower was probably used as a prison.) The gatehouse was also defended with a drawbridge, and contained arrowslits, two portcullises, heavy wooden doors, battlements and machicolations (openings through which water or missiles could be dropped down on fires or unsuspecting attackers). Each octagonal tower also had a ground floor guardroom. Access to the upper floors and the wall- walk was via a spiral staircase, easing movement between the gatehouse and the two northern corner towers. In addition, the gatehouse acted as the castle's keep, the last refuge during an onslaught.