Bridgend is a large town in Bridgend County, South Wales. It is bordered by Oldcastle to the north, Ewenny to the south, Troes to the east and Laleston to the west. The towns and villages of St Brides Major, Ogmore-by-Sea, Cowbridge, Pencoed, Coity, Bryncethin, North Connelly, Merthyr Mawr and Sarn are all nearby. The town derives its name from the bridge crossing the river Ogmore, which runs through the town, along with the river Ewenny.
Two castles stand nearby: Newcastle Castle, built in 1106 by Robert Fitzhamon, and Ogmore Castle, built in 1116 by William de Londres. The former castle has a magnificent Norman doorway, which may look dull on the inside but on the outside it is adorned with beautiful decorations. A tower was added during the 16th century, but little else has been done. The castle was handed over to the Turbevilles (the lords of Coity) in 1217, but since their main seat was at Coity Castle, they had little care for Newcastle castle.
Although dating back to 1116, most of Ogmore Castle was built during the 13th century, when it was still in the hands of the de Londres family. A second great hall was added to accompany the first, as well as a new turret, gatehouse and apartments. Also during the late 13th century, the house was passed from the de Londres to Payn de Chaworth, then lord of Kidwelly. After Matilda, the de Chaworth heiress, married the Earl of Lancaster in 1298, the castle was accepted as part of the Duchy of Lancaster and remains in there to this day.
Away from the castles, Bridgend has many opportunities for shopping, with popular high street stores to be found in the centre. The Bridgend Designer Outlet, situated near Sarn, is home to many brands including Karen Millen, Clarks, Austin Reed, Adidas, as well as a Marks and Spencer Outlet and a Next Clearance store.
Nearby cities and towns are easily accessible via Bridgend railway station, which has links to Swansea, Cardiff Central, Bristol Parkway, London Paddington and Manchester Piccadilly.