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Castell Mabwinion

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castell Mabwynion; Castellum Mebwenniaun

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN485519
Latitude 52.14487° Longitude -4.21553°

Castell Mabwinion has been described as a Uncertain although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Of Castell Mabwynion, also in the parish, which was allotted by Prince Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, in his partition of the reconquered territories in South Wales, in 1216, to Rhys ab Grufydd, there are not any remains, neither is the exact site of it known. (Lewis)

This castle, mentioned in 1165 and 1216, is identified with Blaenporth by Morris, in the map of his Welsh Wars of Edward I; but the name is that of a commote, which Sir John Lloyd places at the S.E. of Ceredigion, about Lampeter. It is therefore possible that the castle is only that of Lampeter by yet another name. Meyrick (p. 234) identifies it with earthwork at Cwmcastell, Llanarth SN468555, which is a large enclosure with very little artificial defence–clearly not a medieval castle at all. (King)

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 1860, the record for Castle Mabwinion (Medieval castle), reads 'Some confusion - may be associated with either hillfort 1859 or 1861.'

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 1859, the record for Castell Moeddin (Iron Age hillfort) SN48505194, reads 'Castell Moeddyn lies on the southern side of a rounded hilltop at 270m above sea level in a strong naturally defended location. It is strongly defended by a rampart on the north, easily approachable side by, but more weakly defended along the steep slopes to the southwest, south and east. On these sides the hill falls steeply away to the Afon Grannell over 70m below. At its best preserved section on the northwest side the defences consist of a bank, ditch and counterscarp bank 18m wide in total and up to 4m - 5m high. A simple entrance lies on the northeast side. The interior is level, and oval in shape, measuring 175m by 78m. The site is under improved pasture, with a little scrub growth on the banks. K Murphy 15 December 2005 - taken from various sources.'

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 1861, the record for Castell Moeddin Fach (Iron Age hillfort) SN47495142, reads 'Castell Moeddin Fach is a small inland promontory fort. A small triangular-shaped promontory with steep slopes on the west, south and east sides down to small streams is heavily defended by a bank and ditch on the north side. Overall this defence measures 35m long, 13m wide and about 2m high. There is a simple entrance about 4m wide in its centre. The interior area enclosed is very small, approximately 50m north - south and 25m east - west. It is probably an Iron Age fort, but King has listed it as a possible medieval castle site. The site is under bracken. K Murphy 15 December 2005 - from various sources.'

The exact location of this documented C12?C13 castle is not known. Gatehouse has chosen to identify it with the Iron Age hill fort of Castell Moeddyn mainly for the convenience of giving it some provisional location, although the site is not an unreasonable location for a medieval llys of timber buildings, particularly if that llys was one mainly functioning as an administrative centre run by a bailiff.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 22:32:22