The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Castell Coch, Welsh St Donats

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castell y Marchog; Castell Sion Goodfellow; Knight's Castle

In the community of Welsh St Donats.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST02717478
Latitude 51.46278° Longitude -3.40088°

Castell Coch, Welsh St Donats has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are uncertain remains.


A sub-rectangular enclosure, c.86m E-W by 33-48m, which appears to have originally been defined by a bank and ditch, now mostly reduced to a scarp, subdivided by a similar feature. A later, drystone-walled enclosure overlies the NW of the site. (Coflein)

Probable Medieval homestead situated at 83m above O.D. on a low spur of land divided by two valleys. It consists of a rectangular enclosure about 85m by 54m overall. The south, north and east sides are defined by scarps and the west side by a ditch 5.6m wide and 1.5m deep. The interior is subdivided into two compartments by an eroded scarp. The north-east angle of the enclosure has been destroyed by a drystone sheep-pen of recent date. Against the north wall of the pen there is a millstone of conglomerate 1.2m in diameter. The site is mentioned in the Iolo MSS as 'Castell y Marchog' or 'Castell Sion Goodfellow'. The same source also mentions the existance of windmills in the vicinity which may account for the presence of the millstone. (RCAHMW Glam 3 Part 2 'Md Non-defensive Secular Mons' 1982 58-59 plan; OS record card). Castell-Coch is situated towards the western end of a low spur, in an uncommanding position with poor natural defences. it consists of three rectilinear enclosures. The principle one, in the north-east, is bounded by stone walls. These are now tubles, with no traces of mortar, and average 2.5m wide and 0.7m high. Four gaps occur in the walls, but which of these is original can not be determined. The interior is nettle covered, with no visible foundations or building platform. A ditch which separates the site from the end of the spur is not defensive and was, perhaps, constructed to prevent cattle straying. From its position and plan this is possibly the site of a medieval farmstead. (Quinnell, NV 1956; OS Record Card). Castell Coch, consists of three rectilinear enclosures The principal NE one, is bounded by stone walls, these are now tumbles, with no trace of mortar. (Edith Evans, GGAT 73 Early-Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, 2003-04 (Yr4)). (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Strongly built medieval house. In David King (1983) rejects this as a fortified site as does Spurgeon (1999). Isolated from settlement. King separately list Castell y Marchog as 'Possible castle mentioned by the welsh scholar and forger Edward Williams (Iolo Morgannwg)' but this is the same site (Antiquaries was a pen name of Morgannwg)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

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. It may also contain Designated Historic Asset Descriptive Information from The Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), licensed under the Open Government Licence. 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.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely 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.
Lidar coverage in the UK is not complete. The button above will give an idea of the area of coverage. Higher resolution lidar images in both DSM and DTM form may be available from Lle A geo-Portal for Wales (click the preview tag to bring up a map and then select format byclicking on the small blue diamond in the top right corner of the map.)
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.

This record last updated before 1 February 2016