Bridgend Bridge

11th. Century


11th. Century

From its origins to the Norman conquest from about 1093, when southern Glamorgan was occupied as far as their first ‘frontier’ on the line of the River Ogmore, the district was ruled by the Welsh Princes of Morgannwg under tribal laws.

The Normans introduced their own rules under Robert Fitzhamon, who established himself in Cardiff as Lord of Glamorgan. He divided the occupied area into Lordships, each governed and administered by one of his senior knights.

From this division came the tradition of the ‘Twelve Knights’ among whom William de Londres held the great Lordship of Ogmore and Payn D’Urberville (later Turbervill) gained the upland Welsh Lordship of Coity. Newcastle was held at first by Fitzhamon but later became a Turbervill manor.

The Welsh to the north and west of the ‘frontier’ continued to raid and pillage the Norman occupied lands. That led to chains of boroughs being established throughout Norman held Glamorgan in order to protect the trade of the district and the merchants who came to the marts. Castles built in our area include Coity; Ogmore; Newcastle; Candleston; Brocastle and Old-Castle-Upon-Alun. The Normans also brought to the area their art of building in stone – churches; priories; abbeys as well as castles. As devout acts, they set about linking traditional Celtic churches with monastic foundations already flourishing in the Norman occupied English territories.