The castle is a private residence with no public access. The ruined remains can be seen from the adjacent road however and include one gatehouse tower, portions of curtain wall and corner towers.
Notes: The castle is found to the south of Newport off Feidr Felin and Church Street. There is a public car park on Long Street.
Newport Castle (also known as Trefdraeth Castle) was built by the FitzMartin family as a replacement for Nevern. Originally a ringwork fortification, it was rebuilt in stone on a different site and evolved into a substantial fortification that was attacked on multiple occasions by the Welsh. Today the castle is a private residence with no public access.
HISTORY OF NEWPORT CASTLE
Newport Castle was built by the FitzMartin family. They were Normans with estates in Somerset and Devon but, eager to expand their holdings, participated in the conquest of South West Wales in the early twelfth century. Robert FitzMartin, Lord Cemmaes built Nevern Castle as his administrative centre but Norman control of the area soon faltered. Following the Battle of Crug Mawr (1136), where the native Welsh decisively defeated the invaders, Nevern Castle was re-captured and the FitzMartins were ejected. At this point they relocated to Newport where the proximity to the sea, enabling easy resupply from England, made it a preferred location in the politically unstable area. It was perhaps Robert or his son, William, who built the first castle on this new site; an earth and timber ringwork fortification.
The family recovered Nevern Castle in the mid-twelfth century when William FitzMartin married Angharad, daughter of Rhys ap Grufford, Lord Rhys who controlled the castle at that time. But in 1191 Lord Rhys exploited the absence of William FitzMartin, who was fighting alongside Richard I in the Third Crusade, and seized Nevern Castle from his son-in-law. The family focus once again shifted to Newport (also known as Trefdraeth) and, when Nevern was burnt by the Welsh, no further attempts were made to resurrect that castle. Instead, Newport Castle became the regional stronghold of the FitzMartins.
Newport Castle was rebuilt in stone in the early thirteenth century on the current site. In 1215 it suffered an attack by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in 1215 but was quickly recaptured by the Normans. It was attacked again in 1257, this time by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales. In 1324 it came into the ownership of Lord Audley who substantially rebuilt the structure. The castle was attacked for a final time during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr.
In 1497 the castle was seized by the Crown when James, Lord Audley was executed for High Treason. The castle was restored to his son in 1534 but sold in 1543 to William Owen of Henllys, a Welsh lawyer. The castle subsequently passed through numerous owners and by the mid-nineteenth century was owned by Sir Thomas Lloyd. In 1859 he had one of the castle's towers demolished to make space for a three storey private residence. The site remains a private residence to this day and there is no public access.