Welcome to the Ruperra countyside
The delightful Mansion of Ruppera is situated near the eastern boundary of the county of Glamorgan, adjoining Monmouthshire, and about two miles north of Romney Bridge, on the great road between Newport and Cardiff. The House is finely situated on the side of a hill, backed by stately groves, and though in an elevated situation, placed under the brow of superior heights that bound the Vale of Caerphilly...
There are four fronts, three stories high, with five windows in each story, and four round towers. The views from the grounds are, as Dr. Malkin justly states, singularly beautiful. “From Ruperra (he says) the gardener conducted me across the Park. The prospect was uncommonly attractive. The harvest-moon at the full was just risen. The effect of it shining on the Bristol Channel, with the bold hills of Somersetshire beyond, was in a high degree beautiful. The Channel, though from twelve to fifteen miles across, seemed but like an inland river. The mountain-valley of Caerphilly, as you come upon the Newport Road, has a powerful effect on the mind, as seen by a bright moonlight.”
Mr. Skrine also remarks that “the commanding position of Ruperra gives it an air of consequence above all the other seats in this country, and the prospect it enjoys towards the coast is very striking".
John Preston Neale, Views of the seats of noblemen and gentlemen, in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, Volume IV, (London: Thomas Moule, 1821).
The first Trust to be set up was Ruperra Castle Conservation Trust in 1996. The word ‘castle’ was dropped from the name in 2000 at the suggestion of the Charity Commission, to enable the purchase of Coed Craig Ruperra and in view of a private person having bought the castle in 1998.
Six of the trustees of Ruperra Conservation Trust set up a new Trust in 2008 called Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust so as to concentrate on the immediate planning matters concerning the Castle. They are now trustees of both trusts. In open rolling countryside between Cardiff, Caerphilly and Newport the Castle was built in 1626 by Sir Thomas Morgan of Machen.
Burnt out in 1941, Ruperra Castle has remained a neglected ruin. In 1998, it was purchased by a developer along with 17 acres of land and listed outbuildings and famous glasshouse. Over the years, the castle and its outbuildings have deteriorated. In 1981 the SE tower fell. There are serious cracks in the others. An application to build houses on the site was rejected by Caerphilly County Council in 2008, a rejection upheld in December 2009 by the Welsh Assembly Government after a Public Inquiry.
The castle is privately owned so there is no access to the grounds but a view can be obtained from Public Footpaths and from Coed Craig Ruperra, the woodland to the north owned by the sister Trust, Ruperra Conservation Trust. Although vehicular access is for residents only, public footpath no.12 runs along the drive at the north of the castle grounds. Public footpath no.1, the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Footpath, can be accessed from the Hollybush Inn in Draethen. It goes through the woods to the Castle drive and down the side of the surrounding wall of the Castle grounds. Or you can walk from the car park entrance.
We are looking for new members to help achieve our aim of finding a solution to the demise of this important monument. Membership forms are available to download from the support page. Visit Trust Page
The Public Inquiry of 2009
Public inspectors conclusion
The trustees of the RCPT have, in their capacity as trustees for the RCT, demonstrated that they are well capable of attracting significant funding for local projects involving conservation of the local landscape, a scheduled monument and long term management. There is tremendous determination – as evidenced by over 15 years of sustained campaigning – to safeguard the future of the Ruperra site for future generations and to maximise public access to and enjoyment of the place. The Trust has had substantial ongoing support from a wide range of experts and would be well placed to attract significant public subsidy once a direct interest in the land could be established. Ruperra is a truly unique site. It possesses a fascinating heritage and a beautiful and valuable setting. It deserves better than it has received in recent history and that does not include the imposition of a small housing estate on its doorstep. The Inspector is accordingly invited to recommend that Appellant’s appeal be dismissed.
Read what the heritage experts had to say about the castle in 2009.
Find the Castle
Feeling like an outdoor adventure?
The Castle and outbuildings are in a state of disrepair and therefore are inaccessible to the public.
However there are public rights of way through the estate and neighbouring Coed Craig Ruperra.
Photo by R Kenward (1996)