The Gatehouse website logo
The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Abergavenny Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Y Fenni; Bergevenn'; Gevenu; Berguevenis

In the community of Abergavenny.
In the historic county of Monmouthshire.
Modern authority of Monmouthshire.
Preserved county of Gwent.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO29961394
Latitude 51.81972° Longitude -3.01761°

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

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The remains of the fourteenth century and later masonry castle at Abergavenny are built upon earlier earthworks. The motte is much mutilated to accomodate a nineteenth century castellated tower, whilst there are substantial, if fragmentary, remains of the walls and towers of the roughly 54m by 67-40m bailey to the north. (Coflein)

The castle has Norman origins: the motte was built by Hamelin de Ballon, the Norman conqueror of this area in 1090. Soon after a stone keep was built on the motte and the present Victorian 'keep' probably stands on its foundations. Castle situated in a strong defensive position above the confluence of the Rivers Usk and Gavenny. Documentary evidence suggests that it was in existence by AD 1090. Originally a motte and bailey castle, which was rebuilt in stone during C13. It had a circular round tower on the motte and the outer bailey is divided to form a small forecourt to the motte. A large polygonal tower and a long barbican was added c.1300. Documentary history suggests that it was captured by the Welsh on at least one occasion and subsequently recaptured. It was held against Glyndwr and dismantled 1645.
Links to mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER       Listing    
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path      
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.
I do not receive any income from this site and I fund it myself. The information within this site is provided freely by me 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 me to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting me if you see errors or if you can add information.
I do acknowledge the help I get.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of the described site.

This record last updated on Thursday, November 21, 2013