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Castle Arnold, Llangattock nigh Usk

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Arnault; Castell Arnallt; Castell Ernallt; Castro Arnaldi

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO31941001
Latitude 51.78493° Longitude -2.98714°

Castle Arnold, Llangattock nigh Usk has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Palace.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle Arnold, destroyed in 1177, is traditionally believed to be the site of the palace of Kings of Over Gwent. The visible remains at the site include a natural mound, approximately 80m east to west by 50m and up to 6.0m high set on the fringes of the Usk flood plain. A subrectangular enclosure, c.50m E-W by 26m, upon the summit of the mound, is defined by low banks on the west and east, elsewhere by steep natural slopes. Attached on the western side is a second enclosure, c.32m E-W, defined by a bank on the west. (Coflein)

The site of the stronghold of Sitsyllt ap Dyfnwal, treacherously murdered at Abergavenny Castle on Christmas Day 1175 by William de Breos. The site was then abandoned. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Castell Arnallt should be reassessed as the site of an important Llys rather than a motte. (Phillips p. 103)

The monument comprises the remains of a castle mound, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). It consists of a large, long, oblong mound with relatively steep sides and a flattish top. It measures rough 87m E/W and 52m N/S, and is up to 4m high. The site is larger than a normal motte, and is likely to be natural in origin. Geophysical survey has revealed the presence of masonry structures on the summit of the mound. Historical references indicate that this was the fortified home of Seisyll ap Dyfnwal, the Welsh Lord of Gwent Uwchcoed. (Scheduling Report)

David Maynard kindly informs Gatehouse that "a geophysical survey was reported on in Archaeology in Wales the CBA regional journal. It didn’t really add much to the knowledge of the site, beyond confirming that there is something there."
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 08:18:59