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

Penller Castell

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Penllyr; New Castle in Gower; Penlle'r Castell

In the community of Mawr.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Swansea.
Preserved county of West Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN66540960
Latitude 51.76918° Longitude -3.93559°

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

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

At the highest point in Gower, 373m OD, Penlle'r Castell occupies the 'pen' (summit) of a mountain formerly known as 'Lle'r Castell' (place of the castle). A purely military stronghold or blockhouse, its position was selected to protect a remote and vulnerable frontier. The form of Penlle'r Castell and the scant traces of its crude masonry permit no firm conclusions as to its date of construction, but its identification with the New Castle of Gower destroyed in 1252 suggests that its foundation, and the encroachment into Gower, did not long proceed that date. No other castle in Gower could have been the New Castle: within the northern uplands of Gower there is only Penlle'r Castell and Cae Castell, a presumed Welsh castle of the 12th century whose form and remote location preclude its consideration as the castle attacked in 1252. For a castle founded c1252 and possibly modified during the next 80 years, Penlle'r Castell is exceptional, not merely in its form, but also for its limited purpose as a purely military frontier fortification incapable of supporting the economic or administrative functions of a castle in more hospitable locations. Its limited function explains its seemingly crude construction and unconventional design. It presumably sheltered a small detachment of mounted men charged with the task of policing a disputed border. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The surviving remains consist of impressive earthworks with slight vestiges of the masonry which once crowned them. It has been suggested with reasonable confidence that this unconventional structure was founded by William de Braose II as a military frontier castle c. 1252. (Coflein–ref. RCAHMW, 2000)

Strongly ditched platform with unmortared defences (two square towers?). Not likely to have been a permanent defensive position. No history; believed to be a late C13 strong-point between rival marcher lords. (Hogg and King)
Comments

Salter, however, writes "The castle was probably of welsh origin and is unlikely to have been used after the end of the C13." but this may represent a confabulation with Cae Castell.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER           Historic Wales
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   Flashearth      
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. 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.
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 on Saturday, September 20, 2014


¤¤¤¤¤