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About the Lordship of Gower

The Lordship of Gower covers a much larger area than the Gower Peninsula. It included the area from the tip of the Peninsula in the west, to Ystalyfera and Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen in the north and was bounded by the rivers Loughor, Amman, Twrch and Tawe.

After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror did not take control of Wales straight away. It was a slow process. The Welsh Princes fought back for 200 years. The Normans eventually created ancient marcher lordships, where the King appointed a trusted noble to help keep the border between England and Wales under control.

The area known as Gŵyr became the Lordship of Gower. Henry de Beaumont was the first Norman to be granted the Lordship in 1106 by King Henry I. Henry de Beaumont ruled the Lordship from the castle he had built in Swansea. After he died the Lordship passed to further generations of the de Beaumont family, until Henry de Beaumont’s grandson got into debt and the Lordship was taken away by King Henry II.

The Lordship was then granted to William de Breos. The de Breos family ruled over Gower until it passed to Lord Herbert in 1468. A descendent of Lord Herbert became Duke of Beaufort in 1682. The Lordship of Gower later passed to him. It remained in the ownership of the Duke of Beaufort until the rights of the Lord were legally abolished in the first Act of Union of 1535, when the area was transferred to the historic county of Glamorgan.