Knucklas is a small village in Powys on the B4355, about 2 miles north-west of Knighton. Knighton is about 17 miles west of Ludlow. The castle sits in an elevated position on the north side of the village.
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Article by Paul Remfry
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Photo: Gregg Archer

Knucklas castle was fortified in 1242 by the 11-year-old Roger Mortimer (d1282) on behalf of his father Ralph who was out of the country at the time. Through his mother, Roger was the grandson of Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth. In 1246 Ralph Mortimer died and, as Roger was still a minor, control of Maelienydd with Knucklas castle was taken by the ever-indecisive King Henry III. The following year, however, Roger persuaded the king to let him have it back for a substantial fine. In 1260 the castle was by-passed when a Welsh army attacked Knighton. At the end of 1262, while Roger Mortimer was being besieged by Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd at Cefnllys, Owain ap Madog prepared to attack Knucklas castle with siege engines. The garrison took one look at the preparations and surrendered, leaving the victorious Welsh to render the fortifications indefensible. That was not quite the end of Knucklas castle's brief history, for it was garrisoned for war again in 1282 and was seized by the Crown in 1322. The castle was last mentioned in contemporary records in 1316 and it is very unlikely that it was anything more than a ruin by the time of Owain Glyndwr's revolt in 1402.

Photo: Gregg Archer

Knucklas castle was basically a square construction with substantial stone walls and a circular tower at each corner. Further wards lay around this inner core.