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Cwrt y Vil Castle, Penarth

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Canon Court

In the community of Penarth.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST17927023
Latitude 51.42518° Longitude -3.18153°

Cwrt y Vil Castle, Penarth has been described as a Fortified Manor House but is rejected as such.

There are masonry footings remains.

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


Remains of a rubble-built range, 26m NE-SW by 7.5m, much damaged, set in a private garden. Thought to have been part of a grange belonging to At Augustine's Abbey, Bristol, c.1180-1538. Possibly a barn, although sub-divisions mitigate against this. (source: RCAHMW 1982, 304-5). (Coflein–J.Wiles 06.02.03)

In garden of No 2 Castle Avenue, to N of house. History: Circa 1180 Osbert of Pennard granted land to Augustinian canons from St Augustine's abbey Bristol who established a grange (monastic manor) at Penarth. When St Augustine's became cathedral following Dissolution of Monasteries farm became property of Cathedral chapter. Description: Remains consist of shell of barn range with attached room to W, aligned roughly E-W, into which have been inserted C20 garages and outhouses (replacing C19 stables). S wall and S half of W wall have been lost. Random rubble walls (occasionally coursed) stand up to 2m high, with putlog holes. There is a splayed slit window in the E wall and blocked doorway to N wall of W room. NE corner of W room has beginnings of corbelling. Length of range approx 24m by 7m with a cross wall approx 5m from W end. (Listed Building Report)

Cwrt-y-vil was a grange not a castle; fee of Penarth given to St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol, which established a grange there. The only remains are three walls of a building of uncertain purpose, one possibly a barn, in to which is built a block of C19 stables and garage; there is a tradition of a chapel (RCAHMW). (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Site designated 'Cwrt-y-vil Castle (Ruins of) on OS maps down to 1947. Fragment of wall remains. King rejects this as a castle, considers these to be domestic walls only. Spurgeon writes this was a grange of the canons of St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol. Monastic owners would have had the resources to fortify such a grange which is not far from the coast and, therefore, a potential target for pirates.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016