Tretower can be found north of Crickhowell in the county of Powys, within the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. The Rhiangoll river runs along the west side of the village and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal passes close by.
There are many walks in this beautiful part of Wales and the famous Beacons Way passes within a mile of Tretower as it wends its way across the Black Mountains.
Tretower Castle and Court have an interesting history, and that's without any mention of any battles! The first settlement was a motte and bailey castle created by Picard in the 11th century. Not much is known about the castle at this time, but a stone keep was built to replace the motte in the middle of the 12th Century. A tower was also added, as well as walls around the bailey.
During the early 13th Century the castle was modernised throughout, and a magnificent circular tower was added to the shell keep. The outer walls were thickened and a parapeted wall-walk created, which still survives today in the west section of the castle.
A four-storey building was built on the north west side in the 14th Century, whilst the gatehouse was erected in the 15th Century. As the centuries passed the site became more a domestic residence than a defensive castle, and at some point in the early 14th Century, work at Tretower was concentrated on Tretower Court. Sir Roger Vaughan rebuilt the Court in the fifteenth century. Today visitors can marvel at the magnificent timberwork that survives in the northern and western ranges, and the later Classical-style windows dating to the 1630s. The whole site reflects important changes from a situation of warfare and defence in the early Middle Ages, to one of peaceful and more settled times in later centuries.