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Neath Town Defences

In the community of Neath.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Neath Port Talbot.
Preserved county of West Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: SS753976
Latitude 51.66390° Longitude -3.80419°

Neath Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


Little information exists about the Town defences of Neath as archaeological excavation is required. The book 'The Towns of Medieval Wales', Ian Soulsby (1983) has some information about the defences of Neath, but this mainly focusses on how hopelessly inadequate they were. The town is thought to have had little, if no defensive wall apart from that of the castle structure itself Tthis left Neath open to attack, which resulted in the towns speedy decline in the 13th century. Following these uprisings and events of the 13th century Neath remained small until the industrial revolution. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

No remains of ?C12 earthworks or possible later stone walls. RCAHMW report possible section of town wall observed springing from the castle, 1965. Full description and history in Spurgeon 2001. The reference to C12 earthworks comes from a charter mentioning 'ad fossatum nove ville' (Clark, Cartae, i,75). Soulsby writes the town was attacked several times but the town 'was a substantial borough with a sound economy protected and fostered by charter. Curiously, however, its only defence appears to have been the castle, and there is no evidence to support the view the town was walled or even protected with a bank and ditch' he adds, in a footnote, 'Neath is stated to have been walled by Lewis and Clark. The are several references to ditches in the area of the town, such as the veteri fossato, mentioned in a late C13 or early C14 deed, but nothing to indicate a connection with defence.'
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016