Crickhowell - The name is taken from that of the nearby Iron Age hill fort of Crug Hywel above the town.
Crickhowell is a small town in southeastern Powys, Mid Wales. It lies on the A40 between Abergavenny and Brecon.
Notable features in Crickhowell include the seventeenth-century stone bridge over the River Usk with its odd arches (twelve on one side, thirteen on the other) and its seat built into the walls, the 14th-century parish church of St Edmund, and the ruins of Crickhowell Castle on the green "tump" beside the A40 Brecon to Abergavenny road.
Crickhowell Castle was initially a motte and bailey castle built from 1121, probably by Robert Turberville of the family of Norman Lords, at this time a tenant of Bernard de Neufmarche, Hugh Turberville holding the castle from 1273 not as tenant-in-chief but as mesne lord. Hugh Turberville was Seneschal of Gascony whose services were called upon by King Edward I to train Welsh men-at-arms and transform the royal levy into a disciplined medieval army capable of conquering Wales. Hugh led both cavalry and 6,000 infantry recruited in the Welsh Marches for King Edward's forces. He was later a Deputy Constable and later Constable of Castell y Bere in Merionethshire. He fought against Rhys ap Maredudd during his rising from 1287 to 1291. He died in 1293 the last of the family in the direct line.
The castle was refortified in stone from 1242 when Sybil Turberville a Turberville heiress married Sir Grimbold Pauncefote or Paunceforte. It was walled with substantial stone towers and a large bailey, a home castle befitting an important Royal ally in Wales. The castle was in the hands of the powerful Mortimer family dynasty of Marcher Lords and in the 14th century and declined as a smaller holding within a large portfolio of lands, titles and larger castles.
On the Royal command of new King King Henry IV in 1400, it was again refortified, this time by Sir John Pauncefote, great grandson of Sir Grimbold, in advance of the uprising led by Owain Glyndwr to 1412. The castle was largely destroyed in the early 15th century by Owain Glyndwr's forces who also attacked and burned Abergavenny town and other settlements in the area. The ruined stone double tower still stands on the Castle Green.