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Erddig Castle, Wrexham

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Wrecsam; Erthcote; Wristleham; Wristlesham

In the community of Marchwiel.
In the historic county of Denbighshire.
Modern authority of Wrexham.
Preserved county of Clwyd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ32724865
Latitude 53.03140° Longitude -3.00465°

Erddig Castle, Wrexham has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


An earthwork castle set on the end of a promontory above the confluence of the Afon Clywedog on the E and the Black Brook on the W & N. Wat's Dyke runs along the W of the site. Two enclosures were formed by scarps and ditches, an oval N motte, c.38m E-W by 30m, and a subrectangular bailey, c.78m E-W by 72m, to the S. Thought to be 'the castle of Wristleham', mentioned 1161. The site has been altered by landscaping associated with Erddig Park. (Coflein)

Very strong motte and bailey which has used natural defences provided by a steep north-west promontory and has also utilised Wat's Dyke on the west side. Mentioned in pipe rolls of 1161-62 as Wristleham Castle. Partially landscaped during 18th century (Burnham, H 1995, 141). Almost complete earthen castle comprising a rectangular bailey and motte formed by cutting 2 broad ditches between 25-35m wide. Both ditches are open-ended and dry. A sinusous bank along the brink of the west escarpment with an internal parallel ditch may represent the modified counterscarp bank of Wat's Dyke. Diameter of motte is 21.5m E-W, and a roughly circular hollow and platform 10m across is centrally placed. May be the castle of Bromfield (King, 1983, 103,105). In 1999 CPAT was commissioned to undertake a detailed contour survey of the Erddig motte and bailey castle by the National Trust as an aid to management and visitor interpretation. A very large and impressive motte and bailey built on a scarp high above the river. The Bailey is defined by a steep dry moat which is cut into the peninsular. on the west side Wat's Dyke is amalgamated into the medieval fortifications. The motte lies to the north and is now little higher than its bailey. It has a surprisingly large platform. The entire monument lies within the heavily planted and landscaped big wood. Landscaping may be responsible for the paths which are cut into the earthworks and they may have undergone other alterations. (CPAT Tir Gofal assessment 1999) (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument consists of the remains of an earthen motte and associated bailey occupying the plateau of a glacial spur above the floor of the Clywedog Valley. The motte itself occupies the terminus of the spur, with the bailey occupying a level area to the south. Protection for both is afforded by deep ditches cut across the promontory. Further protection is afforded to the west by the line of the earlier Wat’s Dyke, which occupies a natural break of slope. It is suggested that the motte and bailey may have been constructed by Hugh Avranches in the late 11th century. (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 16:30:16