Through the mist, the soldiers on the battlements heard the sound of a horse approaching. They would have been prepared for an imminent attack, but before they could make out whether it was friend or foe, their unexpected visitors drew closer, and the soldiers saw they weren’t on horseback after all - it was a knight, accompanied by just one servant, banging together the two halves of a coconut shell.
The iconic opening scene of Monty Python and the Holy Grail is etched in British comedy history, and it was filmed here, at the mighty Kidwelly Castle in Carmarthenshire. You can see why they chose it. This striking Norman stronghold is a majestic structure, very well preserved. Clearly built for strategic purposes, the design of the castle and its fortifications indicates it was intended to withstand heavy attacks or sieges. There are four large round towers, with concentric rings of defence that would have made it a difficult castle to breach. It was the focus of several battles between the 13th and 15th centuries, when the English used it to keep back the Welsh.
In one such battle, Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, wife of Welsh prince Gruffydd ap Rhys, was beheaded. A memorial to her stands outside the gatehouse at Kidwelly Castle, and it is even rumoured that her headless ghost haunts the surrounding countryside. Try not to let that bother you when you’re wandering round! The castle is open to visitors from March to October, with some free parking available on-site.