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Castell Carndochan, Dolhendre

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castell Carn Dochan

In the community of Llanuwchllyn.
In the historic county of Merioneth.
Modern authority of Gwynedd.
Preserved county of Gwynedd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SH84703065
Latitude 52.86105° Longitude -3.71391°

Castell Carndochan, Dolhendre has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A medieval castle thought to have been built by the Welsh Princes of Gwynedd in Penllyn cantref. It occupies a dramatic crag overlooking the Lliw valley, whilst to the south-west it rises above an expanse of upland bog. The castle is an irregular stone-walled enclosure, about 40m north-east to south-west by 25m. The principal feature is the wreck of a great apse-ended tower projecting from the enclosure. There are traces of two smaller rounded towers around the enclosure walls, but no trace of an entrance. A the centre of the enclosure, on the summit of the crag, are the remains of square building about 8.0-9.0m across internally. This may be the remains of a substantial tower. On the south-west side, towards the bog, there is a ditch and bank, with a 7.0m diameter circular structure set below the bank. This is labelled as an 'Old Sheepfold' on the OS County series 2nd edition (Merioneth. XXI.16 1901). There are no documentary records of the castle and it can be dated only by the form of the D-plan tower. Similar, better documented, towers at Castell-y-Bere and Ewloe are dated to the earlier thirteenth century. The tower is of superior build to the remainder of the castle and may be an addition to it. The remaining walls and towers are mortared, with the exception of a revetment at the foot of the central tower. The only recorded find from the vicinity is a later-Prehistoric type glass bead. (Coflein–John Wiles 09.07.07)

Castell Carndochan is thought to be a native Welsh castle, perhaps built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth sometime between 1215 and 1230. It stands on a rocky ridge overlooking the Lliw valley. Little is known of the history of the site except that it was visited by Edward I in 1283-4. The castle consists of a curtain wall with three towers built into it and a rock cut ditch further controlling access from the ridge on the south west side. Two of the towers set into the curtain wall are dry stone built and bear a strong resemblence to those at Carn Fadryn and Pen y Castell. The apsidal tower at the west end is different, being built of coursed, mortared masonry, and is relatively well preserved. The foundations of a building in the centre of the castle may be the remains of a central tower or keep. A typical 'Welsh' castle; dated with confidence to the mid-C13th despite absence of architectural detail and documentary evidence. The principal building is an apsidal tower, still up to 8ft high, connected to a round tower at the NE end. There is no sign of a gateway to the castle, entrance may have been by means of a ladder or wooden ramp. Castell Carndochan, the structural remains of a medieval castle as described above. The strength of the position suggests the possibility that originally it was the site of an Iron Age hillfort. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER)

A Welsh castle, probably built by Llywellyn ap Iorwerth between 1215 and 1230. It is situated on a rocky summit above the Lliw valley, at the NE end of a ridge. The remains consist of a curtain wall, with three towers built into its line, and a central tower. A rock-cut ditch forms a further defence from the ridge on the SW side. The apsidal tower at the W end is of coursed, mortared masonry, and built to a higher standard than the rest of the masonry. The E wall stands 1.5 m high from the E side, with well-preserved masonry. but on the interior the inner wall face has fallen away from the upper courses. In the SE corner the rubble has been dug away to expose the wall to a height of 2.5 - 3 m. The N wall contains a 2-m wide break. The apsidal W end, standing just over 1 m high, appears partly corbelled at the upper levels. Much of the inner face of the wall has fallen away. (Scheduling Report)
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This record last updated 30/10/2016 10:09:39