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Caer Licyn

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kemeys Inferior; Gaer Licyn

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

OS Map Grid Reference: ST38989283
Latitude 51.63095° Longitude -2.88285°

Caer Licyn 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 subrectangular/oval enclosure, c.90m NE-SW by 82m, set upon the summit of a steep ridge above the Usk valley, defined by a scarp and ditch, having an unditched mound, 25m in diameter and 2.0-3.0m high, set towards its NW side. (Coflein)

No visible ditch around motte which is composed of stone & earth & has a slightly rounded top. There is no evidence of any masonry or structure upon the motte. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period, located on the top of the Wentwood ridge overlooking the coastal plain to the SE and the Usk valley to the NW. The motte comprises a circular mound, 25m in diameter and 2m high with steep sides and a summit 7m in diameter. A rough track cuts across the site immediately to the NW of the motte. The large bailey (c. 3 acres) surrounds the motte, and consists of a flat, roughly circular area defined by a bank. On the NE, N and NW sides there is an external flat bottomed ditch, 4m wide and up to 1m deep, with a low external bank, 1.5m high. There is no ditch visible on the S side. There is some debate about whether the site is indeed medieval in origin, and suggestions have been made that it is in fact a prehistoric enclosure. (Scheduling Report)

Scheduled as a motte. Situated on hill top of steepsided ridge, the position is more like that of an Iron Age hill fort but this possibility is, significantly, not mentioned in the CARN records. King rejected this site but Prior writes of this as a certain motte. Phillips, who has surveyed the site, also rejects this as medieval favouring prehistoric.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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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.
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 08:10:26