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Blaenporth Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castell Gwythan; Ralphs Castle; Y Gaer; Blaen Porth Hodnant; Castell Gwithian; Brynawelan

In the community of Aberporth.
In the historic county of Cardiganshire.
Modern authority of Ceredigion.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN26544886
Latitude 52.11069° Longitude -4.53334°

Blaenporth Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Urban Defence.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Blaenporth Castle, with a possible borough enclosure, was established in 1110 and possibly destroyed in 1116. The present site includes a rather irregular enclosure, about 110m east-west by 85m, which rests on steep natural scarps above minor stream valleys. It is otherwise defined by a ditch and rampart, currently much degraded, on the south-west and south. On the east is an oval mound, about 40m north-east to south-west by 37m, and 4.4-7.0m high, having a dished oval summit. 'Brynawelan' occupies a subrectangular area at the foot of the mound, about 32m across, conceivably the site of an inner enclosure. There are indications of a curvilinear ditched enclosure, about 40m across, set within the eastern part of the enclosed area. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. This site, also known as Castell Gwithian, rests on steep natural scarps above the confluence of two minor stream valleys. It includes a rather irregular enclosure, measuring c.110m east-west by 85m, which takes advantage of the natural defences on the north and north-east, and is defined by a ditch and rampart, now much degraded, on the south-west and south. There are indications of a curvilinear ditched enclosure, about 40m across, set within the eastern part of this area. To its east, taking advantage of the natural topography, is an oval mound, c.40m north-east to south-west by 37m, and between 4.4 and 7.0m high, with a dished summit perhaps hinting at underlying stone walling. The sub-rectangular area c.32m across, occupied by the property immediately to the south-west of the mound, may conceivably have been the site of an inner enclosure. The castle, with its adjacent borough enclosure, was established in 1110 and may have been destroyed in 1116. (Scheduling Report)

Minor Norman motte-and-bailey taken and destroyed by the Welsh in 1215. Possible borough enclosure.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 28/06/2017 18:13:03