Crickhowell is a bustling market town within the picturesque Usk Valley in the east of the Brecon Beacons National Park and is a popular base for walkers exploring the Black Mountains. Other outdoor activities easily available include rock climbing, hand-gliding and mountain biking. Enjoy exploring the Iron Age hill fort of Table Mountain or visit the ruins of Castell Dinas which date from Norman times. Attractions in the town include 12th Century Crickhowell Castle and the 17th Century Crickhowell Bridge which spans the River Usk.
Accommodation in Crickhowell includes wonderful country house hotels with onsite fishing facilities and charming cottages set on a working alpaca farm. Stay in a converted barn or a well equipped apartment attached to one of the friendly town pubs. Some cottages have been converted for less mobile travellers and many accept pets so the family dog can join you on your walks. Browse through our directory and look out for our great special offers so you get the best possible price on your holiday to Crickhowell.
Crickhowell Castle and Bridge
Crickhowell Castle was built by the Normans and is located in the town centre. It is thought that it begun life as a motte and bailey castle with timber buildings in the 12th century. It was then rebuilt in stone in 1272. As the castle fell to ruins, some of the stone was used to build surrounding houses. Today only two towers remain. It is also known as Alisby Castle.
Crickhowell Bridge is mostly renowned for its 17th century bridge that spans the River Usk. It is unusual in that when viewed from its eastern end you can see thirteen arches, but when viewed from the western end of the bridge, there are only twelve.
Historic Sites Around Crickhowell
It is believed that Crickhowell has existed since at least the Iron Age when settlers built the hill fort on Crug Hywel also known as Table Mountain. This dominates the landscape at 1,480 feet (451 metres) above Crickhowell. The area was also influenced by the Romans who built forts within the area.
Castell Dinas, north of Crickhowell, are the remains of a castle built in the early Norman period, although before that it was another Iron Age hillfort. The standing ruins that remain are the northern gate tower that is thought to date from around late 1233. Much of the site is now what looks like grass covered rubble which was once walls and a masonry hall keep. The site is 3 miles southeast of Talgarth at grid reference SO 179 301.
At Tretower, a few miles north of Crickhowell just off the A40 is the fairly intact round tower of Tretower Castle and Court. This site contains examples of several buildings from the 12th century castle to a medieval dwelling, and is a good example of how the transition was made from castle to residential dwelling. Tretower Court is a late medieval defended house which reflects the fashion of wealthy landowners in the 1300-1700 period. The castle was built much earlier in the 11th century and started out as a motte and bailey castle. Modifications were made adding stone walls, the keep and the great tower until it was abandoned in the 14th century in preference for the Court.
Another famous feature of the town is The Bear Hotel, a former coaching inn that dates back to 1432. It still has its "post horses" archway and original cobbles. It has a cosy award winning bar full of wooden beams and artefacts from its former use as a coaching inn.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.