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Tomen y Faerdre, Llanarmon yn ial

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Yale; Tomen y Vardra

In the community of Llanarmon yn ial.
In the historic county of Denbighshire.
Modern authority of Denbighshire.
Preserved county of Clwyd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ19325615
Latitude 53.09648° Longitude -3.20633°

Tomen y Faerdre, Llanarmon yn ial has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Impressive motte, 6m high on the east and 25m across the summit. It sits on a natural rock outcrop, forming a cliff above the river Alyn on its west. An artificial ditch runs around its remaining sides, tapering down towards the stream on the south, but ending in mid-air above the crag on the north. There is no trace of a bailey. Possibly C11 in origin and like Tomen y Rhodwydd was refortified by King John in 1212 against Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, when the rock-cut ditch was either dug or enlarged. (Burnham)

A natural outcrop, resting on the Afon Alyn on the NW, forms the basis for a motte, c.54-58m in diameter and 7.1m high, with a summit diameter of 30-33m, ditched and countercsarped away from the river (source Os495card; SJ15NE5). The name suggests a commotal centre, as does the proximity of St Garmon's church, across the river. It is thought that the entry in the Pipe Roll for 1212-13, "For iron mallets for breaking the rocks in the ditch of the castle of Yale", refers to this site (Pratt 1978, 132). (Coflein)

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. Tomen y Faedre consists of a mound with a summit diameter of c.30m diameter and 6m high, located upon a natural outcrop with the Afon Alyn in the north-west. The motte is ditched and counterscarped away from the river. It is considered to have been built by Owain Gwynedd in 1149 in connection with his annexation of Powys. It was then taken by Iorwerth Goch ap Maredudd of Powys and burnt in 1157, and later restored and ditched by King John of England in 1212 (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 16:42:25