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Llanquian Castle

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: ST01897444
Latitude 51.45981° Longitude -3.41386°

Llanquian Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The castle at Llanquian is thought to have originated in the twelfth century and was subsequently re-built in stone in the thirteenth. A mound, c.32.5m in diameter, showing traces of a ditch has, upon its summit, a partial bank thought to mask an oval stone wall, c.18-20m in diameter. A rectangular stone building, 9.5m northwest to south-east by 8.0m, projects from the north-west of the summit. (Coflein)

The earth and stone mound measures 30.0m in diameter at the base, and is up to 2.0m in height. The slightly dished summit is 20.0m in diameter. Llanquian Castle is situated on the western side of a valley which provided a natural defence. the remains consist of a circular stony and grass covered mound which averaged 20.0m in diameter and 2.0m high. The top is flat excepting a small mound of castle and stone on the N perimeter of the site, which may represent tumbled walling. there is a fragment of ditch 10.0m long and 0.5m deep on the ne of the site; there are no traces of any continuation around the earthwork, whose circular plan suggests that the original structure was in the nature of a round tower. There are no outer defensive works. The only masonry visible is a building of apparently much later date which has been constructed and cut back into the west side of the castle, which which must be the gatehouse referred to by Clark (see source 02). (Quinnell 1956; OS Record Card) Llanguian Castle is situated upon a spur, overlooking valleys to the north, east and south east. The earth and stone mound measures 30.0m in diameter at the base, and is up to 2.0m in height. The slightly dished summit is 20.0m in diameter. There are remains of a stone bank around the permimeter on the west and south. An outer ditch is best preserved on the north-east, where it is 6.0m in width, and 1.0m in depth. It reduces to a 3.0m wide berm on the south-east, and there are further traces of the ditch on the south west and west. Cut into the north-west side of the mound is a stone building, 7.5m square, of which the south and east walls stand to 0.6m height. There is a doorway, 1.0m wide in the south side, against the south-east corner. The building, probably a farm building of later date, has an extension to the west over a filled-in stretch of the moat. Represented by stone footings, it is 8.0m long, and is open to the south. On the east-north-east side of the summit of the mound is a heap of stone and earth, measuring 8.0m by 5.0m, and 1.0m in height. It is possibly fallen masonry, but is more likely a spoil heap, perhaps clearance of the stone bank from the north and east sides of the summit. 50.0m to the south-west are foundation remains of two stone huts at right angles to one another, where 13th century sherds have been found. They are as described on ST 07 SW 6. Complex surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD. (ASP 1982; OS Record Card) (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. The motte is situated on a north-facing slope. It consists of a circular mound with a flat top 20m in diameter. On the west and south sides the mound is c. 1.5m high. On the north side it is c. 2.5m high, its sides being uneven and bare in places. On the east side the side of the mound is steep, bare in places, and 2-3m high. On the northeast side there is a ditch 3m wide and 1m deep outside it. The ground then falls away steeply on this side. On top of the mound on the northeast side is an oval area c.1m higher than the rest. In the middle of the west side are the remains of a stone building. These consist of an L-shaped section of the wall, 5.5 x 5m long, 0.5m thick and 1.5m high on the west side, and a 5m long section of wall 0.5m thick and 1m high to the east of it. Inside the L-shaped section is a lot of fallen stone and rubble. (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 17:33:44