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Castell y Mynach, Creigiau

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Monk's Castle; Castelle Menach in Pentiraugh; Castellum Monachorum

In the community of Pentyrch.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Cardiff.
Preserved county of Mid Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST08218115
Latitude 51.52102° Longitude -3.32438°

Castell y Mynach, Creigiau has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


An old mansion in the parish, called "Castell-y-Mynach," now belonging to Lord Dynevor, and occupied by a farmer, was formerly a religious house, but nothing is known of its history. (Lewis)

Castellmynach is a grand late medieval mansion, remodelled in the early seventeenth century and largely refenestrated in the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century. A sixteenth-seventeenth century and later complex lies to the north (NPRN 37489). The house is now engulfed in a modern housing estate. (Coflein)

On the S side of Creigiau, now completely surrounded by housing; rear courtyard reached by a short drive with walled garden to front and sides.
C14/15, C16/17 and later. One of the largest late-medieval houses in the county, built for the Mathew family, reputedly Robert Mathew in C15. Formerly the two ranges formed S and E sides of a courtyard entered through the now blocked archway in E range, the area adjacent functioning as a gatehouse. Former garderobe projects from N end wall. In early C17 house was modernised probably for Thomas Mathew who was High Sheriff in 1614 and known as the bullying squire; this involved putting a floor into the hall, and substantial painted decoration of walls. Glamorgan Historian volume I also dates the cross wing to this period of expansion. The large barn range to N now converted into housing was built in 1616 with inscription TMK, the K probably referring to Katherine, a Morgan of Bedwellty who married into the family. The house was partly refenestrated in the C18/early C19 with stacks and external roof cover probably also renewed in C19. The Mathew family were owners of ironworkings in the Gwaelod y Garth area in C16 and the line ended in 1720.
Interior retains on ground floor in S wing chamfered beams dividing ceiling into compartments, early C18 doorframe and overdoor, carved and painted wooden achievement of the Stuart Royal Arms in strapwork frame and a similar one of the Mathews coat of arms. Former cross passage in W bay. At the other end the doorway links range with gatehouse. On one wall of the staircase well is a wallpainting dated 1602 of black and white pattern in decorative borders and in two of the upper rooms can be seen parts of an open timber roof with moulded arched principals and two moulded purlins. In the main upper chamber above the medieval hall is a wallpainting showing figures holding a scene of ships with a tapestry draped on the parapet. The complete arch-braced roof of the former open hall survives with fine moulded principals and purlins and embattled wallplate.
Manor House. Of limewashed rubble with Welsh slate and stone tiled roof, overhanging sprocketed eaves and decorative bargeboards, stone ridge stacks with cornices to the main range and one tall square rubble stack with off-sets rising from rear eaves. Two-storey, L-shaped. Windows are mostly 12 or 16-pane sashes with narrow glazing bars or small-pane casements, some set in earlier openings. Upper range (main garden-facing frontage) has a 4-window range of horned sashes to first floor some cambered- headed, two of which are under earlier hoods. Ground floor has 2 casement windows either side of stable-type door with hood; stepped up to right is a small window in a chamfered stone surround and further right a wide blocked moulded stone archway with 4-centred head and 2 sunk quadrants; end right is a long multipane staircase window with keystone; end left is a stone-tiled outshut with boulder footings and stone-tiled catslide roof extending forward from gable end which has a shallow corbelled first floor external stack with projection at base. The rear elevation of this wing has to right at lower level a small stone window with trefoil head, spandrels and hoodmould, above left a blocked 3-light window with moulded mullions; the next bay to left has a horned sash to first floor and small casement below; to left is a blocked 4-centred archway with chamfered moulding now incorporating a horned sash window; above left is a 2-light window with moulded mullion and to right a larger 4-light leaded casement with moulded mullions; at ground floor level a small cambered-headed casement is to right of blocked arch and a small sash window with stone surround to left. The lower cross wing has a slightly lower ridge and half-hipped roof with end external stacks and lateral brick stack. On inward facing side a 3-window range of unequal casements with voussoirs, keystones and narrow sills at first floor level, sash windows to ground floor, paired to left, with similar heads, either side of wide central doorway. Gable end elevation facing garden has a wide full-height external stack. Outward-facing elevation has an unequal range of 6/6 horned sashes, some with cambered heads, centre left doorway with margin-glazed overlight and masonry stepped forward to right , an arch above the window to right; another blocked feature ground floor left. (Listed Building Report)

Spurgeon dismisses the house as fortified. Was there an earlier 'castle' on the site? Seems unlikely as a lost monastic house but perhaps the site of a, possibly fortified, monastic grange. However the most likely origin for the 'castle' name is later aggrandisement of the site.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016