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Tyddyn Castell, Rhiw

In the community of Aberdaron.
In the historic county of Caernarfonshire.
Modern authority of Gwynedd.
Preserved county of Gwynedd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SH22152731
Latitude 52.81409° Longitude -4.64046°

Tyddyn Castell, Rhiw has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.


Oval walled enclosure on W slopes of Mynydd y Graig. The ground is level within the enclosure, at the E side the walls are 3-4' high, whilst the outside NW bank is 10'-12' high. Within the walls the enclosure measures 170' N-S and 145' E-W.
An area of flat stones was found 6" beneath the present surface. Just outside the enclosure on the S side an area containing 50-70 smooth, thin, oval pebbles was noticed after recent deep ploughing. No similar stones appear in nearby fields. The foreshore producing similar stones is about 1.5 miles distant (Griffiths 1982).
Within the walls, the enclosure measures 170ft N-S and 145ft E-W (Griffiths 1984). (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust)

A sub-circular enclosure occupying a low spur projecting SW from the lower slopes of Mynydd y Graig measures internally about 47m across and is defined by a bank, faced with stone, 1m high. Its location on elevated ground diminishing in height towards the neck of the spur (now occupied by a ruined farmhouse) suggests a defensive role for the enclosure before being given over to cultivation and a garden to the house. But there is no conclusive evidence pointing to a defensive function.
When approached from the S or SW this location has the appearance of a well-defended position, approached via a bank about 4m high, the outermost scarp of the spur. The interior is a level, well-drained grassy area surrounded by a wall, in fact a stone-faced bank defining an irregular sub-oval or sub-circular enclosure. The NE end, the neck of the spur, is occupied by a now ruined farmhouse, Tyddyn-castell, by which the enclosure may originally have been entered. Externally, around the W and NW, the bank (or scarp of the spur) remains prominent, 2m-3m high, diminishing only on the N as the house is approached. Around the S and E by contrast, the bank diminishes sharply to be replaced by a 1m-1.5m high wall-bank. Although the name suggests a defensive site there is no sign of a ditch or rampart. The present wall-bank gives the impression of a field or garden attached to the house. (visited David Leighton 26 January 2000). (Coflein)

Tyddyn Castell could be classed as a partial ringwork, with definite defensive characteristics sited in a commanding location; it is a likely earth and timber castle. The site has more in common with Irish rath's than Norman motte and bailey', therefore it is likely to be of Welsh origin. With known archaeology, a geophysical survey inside the enclosure and the surrounding fields is needed to identify and interpret the features, however only excavation can confirm whether it is Iron Age or later in date. (Davies 2013)
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016