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Cae Wall Wood Motte, Langstone

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Pool Head Motte

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

OS Map Grid Reference: ST40358911
Latitude 51.59839° Longitude -2.86108°

Cae Wall Wood Motte, Langstone has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A circular hollow, embanked 0.75m high on the E and S, measures some 30m across overall and 1.5m deep. To the immediate N is a disused quarry and there is additional hollowing on the S. The site is in a good defensive position, overlooking the S and W, but there is too much quarrying activity to be sure of its identity as a defensive earthwork. (Coflein NPRN 223874 ? Medieval motte called Cae-Wall Wood Motte)

Within an area of about 80m by 80m lies what appears to be a quarry, flanked on the SW by a shallow circular depression. However, piles of cut stones suggest the former presence of a building, so perhaps there was once a fortification here which was later altered by quarrying. - refering back to the original source it is possible that the site described therein was not examined during this visit. (Coflein NPRN 54450 Medieval motte and bailey? called Pool Head)

The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved medieval moated homestead. It consists of a square platform measuring 30m across, surrounded by a ditch. On the N, S and E sides the ditch is up to 3m wide and 1.5m deep, while on the W side it is up to 2m wide and 0.4m deep. Part of the W ditch has been dammed to make a duck pond. The site is thought to be associated with the 16th century Pencoed Castle, and may be an earlier predecessor. (Scheduling Report)

Both these records have identical map references. The uncertainty about this site is clear from it being listed twice by the RCAHMW.
Pool Head Motte was rejected by King as looking like a dried up pond. Suggestions of a relationship with nearby Pencoed Castle either as a siege work or precursor are probably fanciful and the actual relationship may be as a quarry for that castle.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 02/07/2016 21:10:54