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Stephens Castle, The College, Lampeter

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Llan Ystyffan; Castell Pont Steffan; Castell Pont Stuffan; Castle of Mabwynion; Llanbedr; Pont Stephen

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN57934827
Latitude 52.11443° Longitude -4.07606°

Stephens Castle, The College, Lampeter has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Stephen's Castle is a large motte, 8.0m high, about 30m overall diameter. OS preliminary sketches (1819?) appear to show the castle earthworks prior to the building of the college, with a small work north-west of the motte and two successive subrectangular enclosures to the south. The retaining wall east and south-east of the Old College buildings may preserve something of this layout. Later incorporated in college landscaping (Nprn302080) and truncated by building. (Coflein)

Motte approximately 10m in height. Motte damaged through development on south and west side. Eastern edge has stone revettment. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte, 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, though there is little trace of one here, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. Lampeter Castle Mound, also known as Stephen’s Castle, occupies a rise at the edge of the floodplain of the Afon Dulais, not far from a route focus around a crossing of the Teifi. It is a large motte c.30m in overall diameter and c.7.0m high. As seen today, it has been truncated by the construction of the adjacent college building and by the landscaping of the college grounds; at one point it was provided with ornamental paths as part of this. OS sketches of c.1819 appear to show a small work north-west of the motte and two successive sub-rectangular enclosures to the south, though it is not clear whether these are part of the original motte complex or components of an earlier formal garden layout. (Scheduling Report)

Built in the Norman expansion into Wales in the late 1080's, Lampeter is on one of the main trade routes through to the North of Wales and so the Market town of Lampeter emerges over time. The Castle is razed in the 1130's by a Welsh raid and is never rebuilt. appox 100 feet wide at the bottom and 20-25 feet at the top. The lost bailey has been suggestioned to orientate towards the local church, St.Peters. (Darren Winter–

This is the usual site given for the castle of Mabwynion recorded as held by the Welsh 1154-8, Clare earl Hertford 1158-1165 and then by the Welsh again. However, see also Castell Mabwinion (SN485519)
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 22:51