The Normans built Ogmore Castle in the 12th century. Along with its neighbouring castles Coity and Newcastle to form a line of defence against the turbulent Welsh.
The whole area, known today as Ewenny, was considered to be in danger from the raiding Welsh Tribes, who descended from and returned to the safety of the hills.
The Castle and protection of the district was given over to William de Londres, the most warlike of the Fitzhamon Knights.
Folklore, tells of a time , whilst de Londres’ son was planning to hunt deer in the adjacent forest, a local lad was caught killing a stag. The disinherited Welsh, naturally when the chance presented itself poached these herds. The punishment for this crime was torture and death.
The young Welshman caught, was of noble descent, remained proud and bravely unrepentant,as the torture tools were heated up to high temperatures for his subsequent blinding. All the gathered onlookers were impressed by his courageous behaviour, especially the daughter of the Castle Lord.
In pleading his case, she reminded the Normans, that it was them that had taken everything from the native Welsh. She also reminded her father that it was the anniversary of her birthday, and on such a special occasion she was entitled to a favour, she requested the life of the prisoner. He granted her boon and taking advantage of his mood, she begged that the Welsh be given land on which to hunt freely.
He secumbed to her second wish, subject to the land he bequeathed be no greater than what she could walk around barefooted between ‘now and sunset’.
She agreed and started off at a great pace up the hillside, but the thorns and brambles took their toll, slowing her down. With her feet badly bleeding she struggled on as far as she could in the time allowed, across the hill top and down to the sea. By sunset she had returned to a point by the castle walls, now occupied by the old farmhouse, still standing.
The path she had taken had been marked by following soldiers and became Common Ground. Now known as Southerndown Common and has belonged to the people ever since.


  1. Matt says:

    Excellent tale about one of my favourite places. So many stories it seems about how land is tied to local people all around the world involve how far someone can roam before sundown…

  2. Stephen Delwyn says:

    Another good story, well told.
    Southerndown Common, one of my Mum’s favourite places.

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