To come from the seas, across sandy shoals,
By boat on the waves to beach at Pennard
Lets all see a castle so grand and serene
That folk are at once all won over with joy!
When I was a knight in these lands long ago
I came to this place so proud on my horse
And jousted with jollity in jaunts with my friends
In front of King Arthur, the fairest of all,
And lovely Waynor with her wondrous grey eyes.
With Sir Bors and Sir Lucan, boystrous and bold,
And also Sir Lancelot that most skilful at tourney,
I fought in the field with my lady’s sleeve
As a token of truth in telling of my love.
The banners all blue and those others so bright
Did fly in the wind afloat and a-flutter
With silks all soft blowing which I myself saw.
By those walls on those cliffs all those knights made a clatter
As hoof and hard armour all hammered at once
And cheers rose in chanting with every man’s challenge
Until at the close when a champion was called.
But those days are now done, they have drawn to a close,
Which once bore brave witness to chivalry wondrous;
The winds which blew banners have now brought just sand
And that castle I knew has all crumbled and cracked.
Where Arthur watched from, those walls are all wracked
That once saw that fighting in those long-off days
And the land and the village and all those loyal folk
Have all dwindled and gone as the sand drowned them all in
We look upon that fort
So strong in Arthur’s day;
It is sadly now but nought
And his knights all gone away.
About Pennard Castle…
Pennard Castle on the Gower Peninsula is a small stone castle, built on a former ring work castle. It is lightly-built but in a commanding site which safe-guarded access to the land below it, in particular the valley of the Pennard Pill which advances inland from the beach. According to Cathcart-King, it is first mentioned in 1322; the remains today comprise the remnants of a twin-towered gatehouse, a small round mural tower, a larger square tower, a section of wall and the foundations of the great hall. The life of the castle was short, succumbing to the incursion of sand dunes in the fourteenth century which also led to the decline and then desertion of the neighbouring village. In his evocative, if somewhat inaccurate description of the ruins (and their cause) in the 1920s, CWC Oman states, with a somewhat laconic air, “It is a melancholy site, half filled with drifting sand; for though it stands on a rock, the wind has piled it deep with fine detritus from the neighbouring golf links – where may be seen the only signs of life in this rather depressing corner of the peninsula”.
Buy the Book!
Arthurians and others with an interest – this blog is written in the style of the fourteenth century alliterative poets.
I am currently crowdfunding my second book through Unbound, in this case the Alliterative Morte Arthure (King Arthur’s Death), written by an unknown hand in c.1400.
If you would like to pledge for your own limited edition copy, with your own name in the back as a supporter, please click here.