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Caer Dynnaf, Llygod Old Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Old Llanbeddian; Llanblethian Castle; Llanblethian Hill; St Quintin's

In the community of Cowbridge With Llanblethian.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: SS98527428
Latitude 51.45843° Longitude -3.46150°

Caer Dynnaf, Llygod Old Castle has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


There is a tradition that a Norman castle was situated on Llanblethian Hill, possibly erected by the St Quintin family, which passed to the Sywards after 1249. Homphray in 1828 suggested that two castles were built on the site, as depicted in Buck's view of 1741 ('Castrum de Llan Blethian' and 'Castrum Lithani'). The surviving ruins have been interpreted as a first-floor hall (PRN 1915s) situated within an embanked enclosure which forms the east annexe of Caer Dynnaf hillfort (PRN 263s). (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The ruins of a rectangular building constructed on a platform levelled into the outer bank of the hillfort which also occupies this site. A much ruined mortared stone building, c. 16m NE-SW by 10m, thought to be the remains of a first-floor hall (RCAHMW 1982 Glamorgan III.2, 178). It is suggested that the building is set within a contemporary, sub-rectangular enclosure, c.78m N-S by 54m, defined by scarps and banks, below the main enclosure of Caer Dynanaf hillfort (Nprn93053). Rejected as a castle site (RCAHMW 2000 Glamorgan III.1b, 166). (Coflein)

Caer Dynnaf is a fine example of a multivallate mid/late Iron Age hillfort. Its ramparts are well-preserved in places, with those on the west end still retaining much of their original profile. The construction of this hillfort (probably in the latter half of the first millennium BC - sometime between 400 BC and the Roman Conquest in AD 74) represented considerable effort on the part of its builders. The hillfort had great symbolic value, although it may not have been occupied all year round - simply providing refuge in times of strife and a highly visible claim to the land on behalf of the tribe and its chief. A complex and well preserved in-turned entrance is visible on the west side, while internal features such as earthwork banks and platforms indicate the positions of houses, enclosures and tracks. The remains of a medieval masonry structure survive at the east end of the hillfort. (Scheduling Report)

At the east End of Iron Age hill fort, an annexe is isolated by a cross-bank and ditch. In medieval times, the northern third of this annexe was isolated by another cross-bank, and a substantial masonry building was raised within the resulting enclosure. Frequently suggested as a castle by earlier sources (and some later ones) but no contemporary documentary evidence for this being a castle. Spurgeon writes the masonry remains are of a domestic building, probably a first floor hall house. He rejects this as a castle. However, this is clearly a high status building in a defended position. Was this a hunting lodge?
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 17:09:54