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Castell Llwyn Bedw

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Llwynbedw; Lwm Bwa

In the community of Llanfihangel Ar Arth.
In the historic county of Carmarthenshire.
Modern authority of Carmarthenshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN43103972
Latitude 52.03369° Longitude -4.28851°

Castell Llwyn Bedw has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Damaged weak shapeless motte in marshy ground. (King)

An oval, flat-topped & ditched mound, about 30m east-west by 24m across, mutilated by an excavation trench: there are no indications of associated works. (Coflein)

The motte is still well preserved but is below its original height. It slopes south-westwards and into the base on that side is the remains of a 24 ft. by 6 ft. trench. Surrounded on all sides by marshland, the bailey is so broken that it is difficult to get true measurements. The general lie of the land, together with the disposition of field hedges, and preservation of slopes, however, leads to the supposition that the present plan is a fair representation of the original earthwork. An instructive feature is the extension of the bailey along an upward slope of 2°, making it difficult to establish its termination. It is suggested that this motte-and-bailey, though of the same general scheme of Norman occupation, is a very early and simple example and probably was used later as an outpost of that most excellent example at Pencader and, later still, as a manorial centre for the collection of taxes and the settlement of disputes. (Hughes, 1967)

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. This small motte is 200ft in diameter at the base and 12ft high. It stands at the north east end of a low ridge running out into a swamp. The neck of the ridge on the south west side is cut through by a ditch 20ft wide and 4ft deep. Elsewhere it rises directly from the surrounding ground with no trace of a ditch. The south side has been slightly disturbed in recent years. The mound is said to have been lowered recently. The site is now in rough pasture with a hedge encroaching on the north and east sides of the mound. (Scheduling Report)

Whether this was ever intended as a military site is questionable. The site is overlooked on all side, notably by a Iron Age hillfort 500m N. Neither as weak nor as damaged as King's comment suggests. It may not be early, as suggested by Hughes, but merely a relatively simple manorial centre built in an archaic and relatively cheap fashion.
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 06/07/2016 09:07:47