Friday, 6 November 2015

Ruperra castlePreservation Trust - Annual Dinner

You are we,come to attend our Annual Dinner on Wednesday 25th November, at the Maenllwyd Inn Rudry.

Whether you are a member of the Friends or not, you can book for it this week - here's an invite  and a menu to tempt you!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Gwern y Domen Group

There is a new group in the Rudry area, - the Gwern y Domen Conservation Group which is concerned about plans to apply for permission to build houses on an area of the countryside near to Caerphilly town. Please visit to find out about it.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Open Doors Day 2015

Open Doors Day at Ruperra 2015.   
A Medieval Pageant keeps History alive at Ruperra Home Farm.

Over 100 people showed their great affection for Ruperra when they flocked to the Barn at Ruperra Home Farm on Sunday September 6th

The event started with a walk on the footpaths surrounding Ruperra Castle, guided by the conservationist architect John Thorneycroft once responsible for preserving royal palaces and castles at English Heritage.

Ruperra is famous as a ‘Pageant Castle’.  It is one of only four 17th century pageant castles left in Britain, and the only one in Wales. It came about like this. Thomas Morgan of Machen was a steward – a very highly paid position - to the Earls of Pembroke, the Herberts of Raglan Castle. Henry VIII had given them Wilton House, near Salisbury, and many famous Welsh and English people would have visited them there, where they used to hold pageants with people pretending to be medieval knights and actors. In this capacity Thomas Morgan would have encountered James I and Charles I, and it was at Wilton that he was knighted by James I.

Many ambitious Welsh people who visited Wilton House stayed in England and built their mansions there. Thomas Morgan, now rich and a knight came home to Wales and built Ruperra Castle in 1626 in the style of the wooden scenery made for the medieval pageants at Wilton. 

We thought it would be great fun to hold a pageant of our own just like Sir Thomas Morgan would have done. We invited the Bowmen of the Rose to display medieval warfare, the Bedwas Musical Youth theatre to perform a tournament, and the Dawnswyr Penybont, to show Sir Thomas as a patron of Welsh folk dancing and harp playing.  A resident of Gwynllwg read a medieval poem in Welsh and, accompanied by two Friends of the Newport Ship and one of the Bridgend dancers, gave an impromptu performance of a real 17th century masque play, which raised a great cheer.
An exhibition in a medieval style tent explained it all and we sat on the hay bales, kindly placed in the barn by the farmer to eat our tea and cakes. Mrs Barbara Jones, deputy leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council said that she was delighted to be asked to attend. She hadn’t known what to expect, and really enjoyed seeing all the medieval costumes. Her interest in Ruperra was sparked even more by seeing pictures of the people she used to know as a child on the exhibition panels in the barn.

This was a really good community event and one that Wales can be proud of.

Monday, 10 August 2015


Open Doors Day 2015

The focus of interest in this visit is the 17th century ruined castle of Ruperra. It is privately owned and can be viewed only from the surrounding countryside and footpaths, but these views afford a stunning perception of the former glory of the Ruperra Estate. The Home Farm where the event will be held, lies within a short distance of the castle and is part of the designated conservation and special landscape area. The owner welcomes our event and allows parking and a field if necessary.
After the walk on the public footpaths surrounding the castle and a short talk, there will be tea and cakes in the barn at Ruperra Home Farm. We are planning to have a medieval pretend pageant. This is a working farm which once provided the food for the Morgan of Tredegar living at the castle. There will be an exhibition about the Ruperra Estate, which will include the Castle and outbuildings, the Morgan family, and Henry Morgan the Buccaneer. Also extracts from a diary written between 1890 and 1920 by the farmer William Beechey stretching from the 1890s to 1920s.