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Castell Gwarcwm, Rhosgoch

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Stradpeithyll; Ystrad Peithyll; Strath Peithyll; Rhydydomen; Razos Castle; Ystrad Peithyl, Castell Peithyll Rhosgoch.

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN65328242
Latitude 52.42325° Longitude -3.98197°

Castell Gwarcwm, Rhosgoch has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A medieval castle mound identified with the 'Stradpeithyll' mentioned in the Chronicle of the Princes' - the Brut-y-Tywysogion. This is a steep, sometimes vertically sided mound or drum, some 20m in diameter and 3.6m high, carved from the west end of a spur above a stream confluence in a valley bottom, the Ystrad Peithyll. The level summit is some 12.5m across, but has been damaged by what looks like a robber pit - the mound was traditionally identified as a burial mound. A great flat-bottomed ditch surrounds the mound, 4.0-6.0m across the base and up to 15m wide between the summit of the mound and the far eastern lip of the ditch. Elsewhere there appears to have been a counterscarp bank above the lower ground. The mound, whose summit is slightly lower than the eastern lip of the ditch, would have been topped by a tall timber-framed tower. The house probably lay in the area between the mound and the stream confluence, where slight terraces suggest the presence of buildings. The castle would have been built in the years following Henry I's grant of Ceredigion to Gilbert fitz Richard in 1110. In 1113 it was the seat of Razo or Razon the steward. The chronicle relates that the castle was assualted and overpowered by an influx of Welsh princes, who then burnt it after killing many of the people within. The castle has no further recorded history. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. Castell Gwar-cwm, also known as Castell Ystrad Peithyll and Rhosgoch Motte, is a steep-sided mound c.20m in diameter and c.3.6m high, carved from the west end of a spur above a stream confluence in a valley bottom, the Ystrad Peithyll. The level summit is c.10m across, but has been damaged by an old trench up to 2m deep running in from the north. The mound is surrounded by a deep flat-bottomed ditch, rock-cut in places, c.5m across the base and with a counterscarp bank outside it standing up to c.4m above the base. The ditch and counterscarp are absent on the north, where the site is bounded by a stream. There may have been a very small bailey to the west of the motte, where slight terraces suggest the presence of buildings. The castle would have been built in the years following 1110. In 1113 it was the seat of Razo or Razon the steward, and was reported to have been taken and destroyed by the Welsh. It has no further recorded history. (Scheduling Report)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 22:20:28