The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Usk Town Banks

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Brynbuga; Clawdd du

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO378010
Latitude 51.69967° Longitude -2.89828°

Usk Town Banks has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Scant remains of earthwork defences dating back to Roman times but part re-utilized by medieval time, although the medieval line of defences bears little relation to the Roman. Town thought to be founded by 1120. Town defences, consisting of a bank and ditch, thought to date from C13-C14 enclosing a rough quadrilateral, depicted on a map of 1801, with sides; 280m along the N, 700m along the NE, 650m along the SE, the remaining, W side being closed by the Usk. An 80m section of ditch remains, centred at SO37650189, along the N side, below and possibly pertaining to the castle, whilst a 330m length of bank and ditch, the "Clawdd Du" centred at SO37980046, is preserved on the SE. (Derived from Coflein)

The site chosen for the town lay south-west of the castle which have been built earlier in the century. Defensively it was an unsound location. it was established on flat land prone to flooding even though I am more secure land was available. In this instance economic considerations were more important than military ones; the site had good lines of communication is essential for commercial development. A poor defensive position with the price paid for accessibility the more flood-prone areas of the town were eventually abandoned as its centre of gravity shifted westward towards the river Usk but away from the Olway Brook which was the source of the flooding. (Hopkins 2008)

The defences may well be more flood defences than security defences.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, the four welsh archaeological trusts and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain Designated Historic Asset Descriptive Information from The Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown.
Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Lidar coverage in the UK is not complete. The button above will give an idea of the area of coverage. Higher resolution lidar images in both DSM and DTM form may be available from Lle A geo-Portal for Wales (click the preview tag to bring up a map and then select format byclicking on the small blue diamond in the top right corner of the map.)
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.

This record last updated 28/06/2017 18:13:03