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Coed Ty Mawr, Llanafanfawr

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Pen Cae Gaer

In the community of Llanafanfawr.
In the historic county of Brecknockshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN98625761
Latitude 52.20739° Longitude -3.48500°

Coed Ty Mawr, Llanafanfawr has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A ploughed-down rectangular enclosure with rounded angles, 29.3m by 25.3m between bank crests, ditched about and set upon a hilltop, is classified as a medieval 'homestead' site. The general morphology of the site could indicate a Roman, military origin, although this seems unlikely. The site may relate to the medieval forest of Talgarth. (Coflein)

Rectangular univallate enclosure some 24m NE-SW by 20m wide internally (SW side not now discernable) with entrance in NW side and raised interior. Poss a medieval site (OS, 1978). Defences on SW provided by natural rock ridge: there may never have been a bank/ditch on this side. Evidence of linear quarrying and field bank at SW end. The univallate enclosure roughly 24m north-east/south-west and 20m wide internally, the original entrance survives to the north-west and is roughly 3m wide. The surrounding bank is up to 0.6m high in places and between 1m and 1.5m wide. The bank is either missing or was never constructed to the south-east where natural rock outcrops from a defensive barrier. The earthwork is thought to be medieval but could just as easily represent and Iron Age or earlier feature. The earthwork is in good condition apart from a small sheep scrap on the outer edges of the bank to the north-west. (CPAT Tir Gofal assessment, 2004) Description: sub-rectangular earthwork enclosure (scheduled), has been noted as of possible medieval date. No evidence of a building or platform within the enclosure, although a platform PRN 80024 is c.100m to WNW. Purpose and date remain to be ascertained (CPAT, DRS project). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a well preserved ringwork, which dates to the medieval period (c. AD 1066 - 1485), located on the edge of a steep scarp at 100m AOD. The ringwork is roughly U-shaped in plan, measuring 24m north/south by 20m east/west, bounded by a bank and external ditch. There is no bank or ditch on the southern side. The bank survives to a height of around 1m on the western side, and 0.3m on the eastern side. The interior of the ringwork is slightly higher than the surrounding land. (Scheduling Report)

The location on a hill top is more that of an Iron Age site. The relative lack of water on such sites matters fairly little to modest domestic farmstead sites where people can carry the relatively small amounts of water they use but for medieval military, reliant on horses, bases needed good access to large amounts of water.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:30:40