The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Castell Hywel, Llandysul

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Humphrey Castle; Castell Hwmphre; Valley of Cletwr; Howels Castle; Castell Howell; Castell Wmphre; Castell Hywell; Castell Wmffre

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN44044765
Latitude 52.10521° Longitude -4.27859°

Castell Hywel, Llandysul has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A sub-circular steep-sided mound, set on the western point of a spur above the valley of the Clettwr Fach, thought to represent a medieval castle motte: the mound is about 40m in diameter and rises 9.5m to a level summit, 18m in diameter, mutilated by trenching; ditched except on the west, where it rests on a 12m high scarp above the valley bottom: identified with Humphrey's Castle, recorded as destroyed in 1136 & rebuilt, 1153. (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. The mound at Castell Hywel stands c.8m above the road which adjoins it on the west. It is c.12m across the top and has a ditch on the east and south which peters out on the north, where a steep slope runs down to a stream, and the west, where the road may have cut through it. There has been some disturbance to the top of the motte, with an old trench c.8m long and up to c.2m deep running in from the east side. There was possibly once an enclosure on its east side. (Scheduling Report)

End of a ridge cut off by a ditch to make a motte c. 6m high and 15m across the top. The castle here existed by 1137 when it was captured and burnt by the sons of Gruffydd ap Cynan. Hywel ab Owain rebuilt the castle in 1151 but in 1158 it was captured by Roger de Clare.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, the four welsh archaeological trusts and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain Designated Historic Asset Descriptive Information from The Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown.
Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Lidar coverage in the UK is not complete. The button above will give an idea of the area of coverage. Higher resolution lidar images in both DSM and DTM form may be available from Lle A geo-Portal for Wales (click the preview tag to bring up a map and then select format byclicking on the small blue diamond in the top right corner of the map.)
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.

This record last updated 05/07/2016 22:21:26