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Builth Wells Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Buellt; Llanfair-ym-Muallt; castrum de Beohelt

In the community of Builth.
In the historic county of Brecknockshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO04405101
Latitude 52.14927° Longitude -3.39880°

Builth Wells Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Built by Philip de Braose in the 1090s as a timber and earth motte and bailey. During the next century it changed hands between Welsh and Norman owners and was rebuilt in stone in the 1240s. It was taken and destroyed by the Welsh in 1260. Between 1277 and 1282 it was completely rebuilt by Edward I. In 1282 it was held for the king by John Giffard who may have been involved in the death of Llywelyn the Last who was killed nearby in December 1282. The stone castle had a tower keep surrounded by a curtain wall with six turrets. A gatehouse with two towers protected the inner ward. Unusually the castle has two baileys both of which originally had stone walls. Following a fire in the town in the late 17th century the castle was robbed of its stone for the construction of new houses. Today only the large earthen motte and baileys survive. (Earwood and Townsend)

Motte and two baileys. The motte is 18.3m diameter at the top and stands 18m in height above the ditch. The baileys measure 120m by 18m to 27m; and, 60m by 9m to 11m, and are surrounded by a wet ditch 5-8m deep. A shell keep once stood on the motte. he first castle dates to the end of the 11th century, it was refortified in 1210 and rebuilt in stone in 1242. The castle was destroyed in 1260. A new castle was commissioned by Edward I in 1277. The tower keep was surrounded by a wall with six turrets, gatehouse with two towers and two stone-walled baileys. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Compared with the other great Edwardian castle of Wales there is no obvious masonry. No castle more demonstrates the difficulty in getting good quality mortar in central Wales than Builth.
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.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
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.
Please help me to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting me if you see errors or if you can add information.
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This record last updated on Thursday, November 21, 2013


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