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Rockfield Castle, Llangattock Vibon Avel

In the community of Llangattock Vibon Avel.
In the historic county of Monmouthshire.
Modern authority of Monmouthshire.
Preserved county of Gwent.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO48261412
Latitude 51.82456° Longitude -2.75174°

Rockfield Castle, Llangattock Vibon Avel has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


King (1983) identified a 'motte small and rounded; possible traces of small and weak bailey' at SO483142. Phillips did a survey of this area and found at Kings map reference some drainage works and a spoil heap. However he found, at SO48261412, a motte and 'small triangular bailey, interpreted as a horn work' and a 'larger bailey to the east complete with sections of rampart'. He was of the opinion that this was not the 'motte' identified by King.
'the site is atypical as the motte is not situated at the steep part of the slope; the bailey is. It may be that the motte already existed as an earlier mound which the Normans re-used. Alternatively, its position may have been dictated by the geology of the fault line to the north-east as a quarry source' (Phillips)

Quite what the full story is is unclear, what method was King using to identify mottes? When did he survey the site and what notes did he have? It seems unlikely that such an experienced and dynamic an observer and surveyor of castles as King would misidentify a spoil heap (although apparently the spoil heap does resemble a weak motte) and not see a motte and bailey reportedly 50m away.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016