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Castell Meurig, Llangadog

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castell Meiris; Castell Pridd; Lychewein; Llan Gadoc

In the community of Llangadog.
In the historic county of Carmarthenshire.
Modern authority of Carmarthenshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN70922755
Latitude 51.93186° Longitude -3.87842°

Castell Meurig, Llangadog has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Earthworks of a medieval castle recorded as having been destroyed in 1209. The castle occupies an isolated natural knoll with low lying, damp ground on all sides but the north. It consists of a massive ditched mound or motte, at the north-east end of a pointed oval embanked enclosure or bailey. The steep-sided flat-topped castle mound is rather oval in plan, about 46m east-west by 35m, and rises 9.2m to a summit some 24m by 14m across. The embanked bailey is roughly 120m north-east to south-west by 88m and shows traces of an external ditch. (Coflein)

The motte-and-bailey castle at Castell Meurig 1.5 km southeast of Llangadog appears to belong to the early, initial phase of Anglo-Norman campaign. It was captured 'by catapults and slings' by Prince Maelgwn ap Rhys in 1203 (Jones 1952, 82) after which it may have become disused; at any rate, it appears not to have influenced any subsequent settlement. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust Historic Landscapes)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. Castell Meurig is located upon a natural mound within the broad valley of the River Tywi at the entrance to the side valley of the Afon Sawdde to the south east. It comprises a motte 10m high and 15m in diameter across the top surrounded by a ditch 2m deep. The bailey is sub-rectangular, c. 170m long, 100m wide and lies to the south of the motte. It is surrounded by a single bank 2-2.3m high externally, up to 1m high internally, with traces of the ditch surviving on the west and east long sides. The castle is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls for 1160 and is recorded as destroyed in 1209. (Scheduling Report)

The 1160 Pipe Roll reference in the scheduling report comes from a note in the RCAHMW Inventory (p. 146) in which it is stated "There is little doubt that this is the castle of Canterbohen for which an expenditure of £17 5s. appears in the Pipe Rolls" More recent scholarship (King 1983; HKW II p. 706) attribute this reference to Llandovery Castle.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 10:02:04