A Brief History Of Margam Castle
Margam Castle in Port Talbot has a fascinating history spanning thousands of years. The site of the castle has actually been occupied for over 4,000 years. In fact, some evidence suggests settlements from the Bronze Age and Roman occupation. Which only adds to its spooky allure!
The ruins of the 11th-century Margam Abbey can still be found on the grounds. Although it was later replaced with the first Mansel Mansion.
Over the years, the Margam state changed hands a few times. Finally, it was purchased by Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot. He decided to build a new residence in the 19th century.
The construction of Margam Fortess
The initial construction of Margam Castle started in 1830 and lasted for ten years. It was commissioned by Christopher Talbot, as mentioned earlier. He was inspired by the gothic architecture he came across in his European travels.
The Tudor Gothic-style mansion was designed by architect Thomas Hopper. And was supervised by Edward Haycock Senior. Talbot played an incredibly active role in constructing his home, though.
He encouraged the architects to use design elements inspired by Melbury House. And even Lacock Abbey (which you may recognize as the interior of Hogwarts School from the Harry Potter films).
Ultimately, the castle was built with an impressive array of turrets, towers, battlements, and domes. The final building pays tribute to the Talbot family and their rank.
The Castle, over the years
The Talbot family continued to live in the finished castle in South Wales, renowned for its beauty. In fact, Christopher Talbot’s cousin, William Henry Fox Talbot (one of the pioneers of photography), was a frequent visitor of the home. He spent most of his time there photographing the Margam stronghold as part of his photographic experiments.
Sadly, in 1941, the castle passed hands yet again and was sold to Sir David Evans-Bevan. However, Sir David realized that the Tudor Gothic-style home needed to be bigger for his needs and required significant upkeep. And, when he couldn’t find a suitable buyer for Margam Estate, the grounds and the castle fell into disrepair.
Finally, the local authority Glamorgan County Council bought the home from Evans-Bevan in 1973. But remained closed to the public for a while. This was primarily due to the restoration project that the castle underwent in 1977 after a devastating fire caused substantial damage to the home.
Margam Castle today
Today, Margam Castle is a listed Grade I building. It is under the care of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. The estate was renamed Margam Country Park or Margam Park and has become a well-liked attraction for families, history lovers, and (of course) paranormal enthusiasts all over the UK.
You’ll find plenty to do and see, including:
The Orangery Formal and Abbey church gardens
A farm trail
A discovery centre and much more
You may even be able to spot the local deer herd that lives on the estate! You can check out Margam Country Park’s website for a full list of attraction information.
Is Margam Castle Haunted?
The history of Margam Castle is steeped in tragedy. Such an extensive history leaves no doubt that spirits must still be lingering around the castle grounds…
But you don’t have to take our word for it! In fact, several paranormal enthusiasts have listed this site as one of the most haunted places in the UK. Plus, plenty of horrifying stories and encounters from guests and staff will leave you shaking in your boots.
One of the most prominent ghosts at the castle is Robert Scott. He was a gamekeeper at the estate until his tragic end in 1898. It’s said that after catching a poacher on the estate, Scott was shot in the face with a shotgun before the poacher fled, leaving him for dead.
Despite his horrific injuries, Robert struggled for a while. He crawled toward the castle before succumbing to his wounds.
It’s believed that Robert’s vengeful ghost lingers on at the castle. He often stands at the very top of the imposing gothic staircase. He’s also known for his poltergeist activity, like slamming doors and throwing stones. But his presence alone gives off a sinister and malicious feeling.
Apart from Robert Scott, there have been reports of spectral children who call the castle home. The disembodied sounds of children’s laughter often echo around the castle walls. It’s rumoured that some guests have even seen the ghostly children darting in and out of doorways. This is to get the attention of unsuspecting visitors.
Unlike Robert, who seems hell-bent on revenge for his untimely murder, the children are naughty and playful. And they seem curious enough to respond to prompts from some paranormal investigation teams. They also seem responsible for some of the objects that mysteriously disappear. Or are moved to new locations around the castle.
Other spirits and paranormal activity
Margam Castle is a hotbed of paranormal activity and unsettling events that have sent several self-proclaimed ghost-hunters running for the hills! Visitors often hear doors slammed and voices that seem to originate from nowhere.
Some reports even show people being physically affected when they’re inside. Ranging from unexplained and painful scratches to sudden illness, headaches, and tight chests. These apparitions do more than send tingles up your spine.
So, beware that you’re in for a scare when (or if) you’re brave enough to face the spectral residents of Margam Castle.
Can I go ghost-hunting at Margam Castle?
Paranormal investigators and junior ghost hunters rejoice! Margam Castle is open for ghost-hunting tours and ready to scare the pants off of anyone who dares to enter. Just remember to take your high-quality ghost-hunting equipment with you. If you want to capture evidence of these horrifying hauntings, that is.
It’s also important to remember that you must book your ghost tours and investigations in advance since the castle is an extremely popular haunted location. The estate also offers its own ‘paranormal nights,’ so be sure to make a booking next time you want to conduct a private investigation.
Can I spend the night at Margam Castle?
As amazing as a night in this haunted castle sounds, it’s unfortunately not open to the public for overnight stays. However, most tours and investigations continue until the early morning. So you’ll be in for a night of frights and delights either way!