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Cymmer Castle, Llanelltyd

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SH73181954
Latitude 52.75853° Longitude -3.88081°

Cymmer Castle, Llanelltyd has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


This is a roughly D-shaped mound topped by a ruined building, traditionally identified with a castle built by Uchdryd ap Edwin in 1116 and destroyed in the same year. The mound lies within the former deer park belonging to the abbots of Cymer Abbey (NPRN 95420) and it has been suggested that the building is an early sixteenth century prospect tower. It has also been identified as an eighteenth century gazebo associated with the Hengwrt estate (NPRN 265208). The mound is based on a natural outcrop and is about 46m north-east to south-west by 40m. It is set on ground falling to the west and rises 5.2m on the west side, but only 0.9m on the east. There is no trace of a ditch. It is topped by the ruins of a gabled building, 6.7m by 7.5m and standing up to 4.0m high (in 1973), with walls about 1.0m thick. The building rises one and a half storeys above a raised basement from massive foundations laid in a pit. There are traces of internal and external rendering and some decayed oak lintles survive. The castle identification is doubtful (see OS record card). The OS County series 1st edition (Merioneth. XXXIII.11 1889) shows the mound with a regular sub-rectangular summit area accessed by a ramp from the west. The regularity in layout suggests that mound and building are contemporary. (Coflein–John Wiles, RCAHMW, 03 July 2007)

This is a flat topped mound about 15 feet in average height, and a summit diameter of 43 feet. On the top of the mound is a building of castellated style which was erected in the 18th century as a summer house. It is now a neglected ruin. There are no indications of a bailey or a moat; the former may never have existed, and the latter may have been filled up when the summer house was erected. This is probably the site of the castle of Cymmer which '...the sones of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn overthrew in AD 1113 upon some displeasure against the sons of Uchdryd ap Edwin who had built the same'. It stands in the township of Pentre, of which it doubtless was the caput. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER)

Situated on a hill 2.5 km N of Dolgellau with commanding views towards Cader Idris and the Mawddach estuary; accessed across fields from a metalled lane leading E from Llanelltyd bridge ultimately to Llanfachreth; on a small artificial motte. History: The probable site of Cymer castle, which was built in 1116 by Uchdryd ap Edwin; this is the first recorded mention of a Welsh castle which has survived to the present day. The present building occupies a 4.5m high motte, the summit of which has a diameter of 13m. It is possible that it originated as a hunting lodge or observation platform for the later abbots of Cymer in whose former deer park it stands; apparently used in the C18 as a clandestine gaming house, it has long been ruinous. Description: Rubble-built gabled tower block originally of one-and-a-half storeys over a raised basement; squat chimney to N gable with weather-coursing. The N and E sides stand almost to full height, the remainder being ruinous. The N and S gables originally had a single large window opening to the main floor; the E and W sides had 2 such windows, the upper contained within a gabled dormer. There is a small angled fireplace in the NE cornerand what may have been a stair access in the SE corner. Decayed oak lintels survive to some openings including 2 basement lights. There is evidence for both interior and exterior render. An imposing ruin on an important site, perhaps originally an early C16 lodge associated with Cymer abbey. (Listed Building Report)
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This record last updated 02/07/2016 20:10:25