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Tump Terret, Trellech

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Trelleck; Trillech; Trillec; Trillek; Twyn Tirret

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO49930535
Latitude 51.74463° Longitude -2.72568°

Tump Terret, Trellech has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Large steep-sided grass covered mound c5m high. It has a flat top c14m in diameter, with a small hollow in the centre and a bite out of the top of the S side.
No ditch outside the mound on S or W sides, on N side is a wide flat-bottomed ditch 4m wide and 2.2m deep. On E side is a slight ditch c0.7m deep.
First documented in 1231 and described as "the site of the old castle" in 1306.
Phillips notes that Trelech earthwork comprises an earthen mound with steep sides; the motte is surrounded by a levelled ditch (excepting the south and west sides) and it was first recorded on a sketch-plan made sometime between 1937 and 1940 by Kay which shows the complete ditch before it was damaged by the farm buildings. The north section of the earthwork survives the best. The motte (height of 5.58m, a top surface area of 142.762m^2 and an estimated volume of 2236.956m^2) has a natural base indicating that its present base of 758.373m^2 is close to original. The surviving northern ditch separates a raised portion of land from the motte; Phillips records that at this point the depth is 2.6m with a bottom width of 4.3m and refers to excavations and a geophysical survey made in 2002-3 indicating a new interpretation of where the position of the bailey. Phillips concludes by interpreting the site as an early motte and bailey built during the initial conquest of the area, speculating on its original size and indicating major defensive issues (Phillips 2004). (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Tump Terret is a ditched mound, c.36m in diameter and 5.5m high, with the remains of counterscarp to the south. The Castle is mentioned in 1231, and referred to as 'site of' in 1306. A geophysical survey in the area of the motte indicates the presence of structural remains in area of the bailey enclosure to the north and north-east. Structural features on the motte-top are thought to relate to a 19th century summer house. The presence of Court Farm to the south (Nprn43389), may indicate a further enclosure in this area. (Coflein)

The motte and bailey at Trelech can be identified, on the basis of size and shape, as one of the early type of castles built during the initial conquest of the area. The steepness of the motte and the surrounding ditch also show that inner defence was also a major issue. The site is located on the edge of a ridge of land with the motte at the steepest side and the bailey separated from it by a ditch. The bailey stretches to the north and may be of considerable size judging by the modifications to the natural terrain that are evident throughout the village. (Phillips)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). It comprises a large steep-sided mound, 5m high, with a flat summit 14m in diameter. On the S and W sides there is no trace of a ditch, however, on the N side there is a wide, flat bottomed ditch 4m wide and 2.2m deep and on the E side there is a slight trace of a ditch 0.7m deep. Little is known about the history of the castle, however it is recorded as being in existence in 1231. (Scheduling Report)

The history of the castle is obscure; but it is known to have been in existence before 1231. Trellech was within the Norman lordship of Usk, and the castle presumably had some manorial administrative function.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 08:50:49