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Prestatyn Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the community of Prestatyn.
In the historic county of Flintshire.
Modern authority of Denbighshire.
Preserved county of Clwyd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ07238331
Latitude 53.33852° Longitude -3.39467°

Prestatyn 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.


A castle excavated in 1913 that consists of a roughly rectangular enclosure defined by traces of walling with an external ditch. There is a projection, possibly a gate, on the northern side. A low circular ditched motte, c.20m in diameter and 0.9m high, is placed eccentricly within the enclosure. A causeway leads c.60m east-south-east. (Coflein)

Low mound and ditch excavated 1913 showing most of the walls of the castle and the approach causeway, all of which are dated to C11. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Occupies a low-lying position, but still commands a view across much of the flat coastal plain. It consists of the remains of a motte c.20m in diameter with surrounding ditch, and a bailey which, unusually, encloses the whole of the motte. Excavation in about 1913 revealed a substantial stone wall 1.2m thick surrounding the bailey, inside its ditch, but no trace of a structure on the motte. A slightly raised causeway approaches from the south, but no detail is now visible where it meets the bailey; there is no obvious entrance gap in the motte ditch. Probably built by the Norman Robert de Banastre about 1164, and was destroyed by the resurgent Welsh under Owain Gwynedd in 1167. (Helen Burnham - Castle of Wales website)

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. Prestatyn Castle consists of a low, ditched motte, c.20m in diameter and 0.9m high, within a roughly rectangular enclosure. The enclosure is defined by traces of walling and an external ditch. There is a projection, tentatively identified as a gate, on the northern side. Excavation in 1913 identified walls of the castle and an approach causeway, all dating to the eleventh century. (Scheduling Report)

Hogg and King (1963) add to the listing of this site "No motte" although this was, at that time, not a site visited by King. There is a low motte and quite why they though otherwise is unclear. The castle was granted to Robest Banaster by Henry II in c. 1265 but not necessarily built by him, although he may have done some new building work.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 16:55:14