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Dryslwyn Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Drusselan; Deresloyn; Droslan; Drosselan; Dyryslwyn; Drysllwyn

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN55402035
Latitude 51.86247° Longitude -4.10129°

Dryslwyn Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


A native Welsh castle, much of which has been revealed by excavation. Occupied by the Princes of Deheubarth, it was taken by the forces of King Edward I in 1287. Dryslwyn was later betrayed to Owain Glyn Dwr 1403. Castle of limestone walls, built in the 1220s, and appears to have been demolished in the early C15. Polygonal inner ward containing principal remains to SW, with traces of middle and outer wards to NE. Early C13 curtain wall to inner ward stands only 1m high. Garderobe to E side, and remodelled C13 gatehouse to NE, surviving at foundation level only. On S side of gatehouse is the round tower, the original keep. Foundations survive to the original great hall and Maredudd ap Rhys' hall.

The shattered ruins of a medieval castle crown the ultimate summit of a dramatically isolated and abrupt hill rising from the Tywi floodplain. The castle was founded by a local Welsh prince in the second quarter of the thirteenth century. It was twice expanded before, in 1287, it was captured for the English crown after a desperate and famous siege. A walled borough was now added on the lower summit of the hill (see NPRN 109584) and the castle itself was modified and repaired throughout the following century. The castle was decommissioned in the early fifteenth century and decayed thereafter. It has recently been excavated and the remains are consolidated for public display. The earliest castle consisted of a great round tower and a princely mansion set in a strongly walled court. In the later thirteenth century two further walled courts were added on the north-east slopes reaching down to the borough on the lower summit. The most dramatic remaining feature is the outer facade of the great appartments. Otherwise the castle is mostly reduced to footings. (Coflein–John Wiles 06.12.07)
Links to mapping and other online resources

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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.
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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. 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.
I do not receive any income from this site and I fund it myself. The information within this site is provided freely by me 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.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of the described site.

This record last updated on Thursday, November 21, 2013