The present Powis Castle was built in the mid-13th century by a Welsh prince - Gruffudd Ap Gwenwynwyn who wanted to establish his independence from the aggressive princes of Gwynedd in North Wales. This was an act of defiance and in contrast to those built by the English at Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech in order to suppress the Welsh and consolidate Edward I’s conquest of Wales.
By the late 13th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd had established himself as Prince of Wales, and in 1274 he destroyed Powis Castle, forcing Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn into exile.
However, within three years Llywelyn’s principality had crumbled leaving Gruffudd of Powys able to regain his lordship and rebuild the castle. Gruffudd, his son and grandson had all died by 1309, and with no male heir, the castle and lordship passed to an heiress, Hawise who married Sir John Charlton from Shropshire.
In 1312, Hawise’s uncle attacked the castle in an attempt to claim the lordship but failed. Charlton repaired the damage and built two great drum towers that can be seen today, either side of the castle’s west entrance.
Descendants of the Charltons continued as Lords of Powis for over 100 years but in 1421, the lack of a male heir resulted in the castle and estate being divided between two daughters, Joyce and Joan, who had married Sir John Grey and Sir John Tiptoft respectively.
Under the Tiptofts and their successor, Lord Dudley, the Outer Ward of the castle was neglected and needed considerable restoration. Luckily, in the 1530s Edward Grey, Lord Powis, took possession of the whole castle and began a major re-building programme.
In 1587, Edward Herbert purchased the castle and estate and it remained in the hands of the Herbert family until 1952 when George, 4th Earl of Powis, bequeathed the castle and gardens to the National Trust.
In 1902 George began its modernisation by introducing electric lighting and a state of the art hot-water central heating system, and at the same time he worked with his architect to re-establish the 17th Century décor in many of the state rooms, a style he thought more befitting of a medieval castle.
The estate was at its height during the Edwardian Period with notable guests arriving every weekend throughout the winter season, including the Prince and Princess of Wales in November 1909. However, this golden era was not to last as George was to suffer a number of family tragedies. The countess died following a car accident in 1929, both his sons, died whilst on active service, Percy from wounds received at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and Mervyn in a plane crash in 1943. With no direct heir to the castle, on his death bed in 1952, George bequeathed Powis to the nation, in the care of the National Trust.
In the garden four of the 150m long original terraces remain, the last two having reverted to banks of earth covered with shrubs. The top Terrace is planted with a range of yew trees, a distinctive feature at Powis.
William Emes, apart from the destruction of the water garden, did make improvements to the estate. A road that cut through the park just below the castle was diverted, and much planting was undertaken on the Wilderness Ridge, the line of hills opposite the castle, on the other side of the Great Lawn. The last major transformation of the gardens was undertaken in the early 20th century by Violet, wife of the fourth earl.
The Herbert family continue to live in part of the castle, under an arrangement with the National Trust. The Trust has undertaken a number of major works of restoration during its ownership, including the Marquess Gate,[ the Grand Staircase, and the sculpture of Fame in the Outer Courtyard. Powis Castle is a Grade I listed building, while its gardens have their own Grade I listing and together they form an irresistible attraction that receives over 200,000 visitors a Year.
The flight was inside a FRZ but had authorisation from the relevant ATC and the local council does not have a bylaw to prevent TOAL. I was easily able to launch the DJI mini 3 Pro close from a public path just outside NT property and maintained VLOS with the assistance of a spotter (my wife).
Land owner permission requirements unknown.
View and discuss this location in more detail on Grey Arrows.
Co-ordinates: 52.65246, -3.15728 • what3words: ///strongman.snapper.just