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Domen Fawr, Tafolwern

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Walwerin; Walwern; Waluernia; Walwar; Talfolwern

In the community of Llanbrynmair.
In the historic county of Montgomeryshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SH89100263
Latitude 52.61014° Longitude -3.63919°

Domen Fawr, Tafolwern has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Motte, 6m high and 40m diameter at base, 29m at top. It stands at the confluence of the rivers Iaen and Twymyn with the bailey built on an interfluvial spit65m by 50m. A step 2m by 2m cut into the north of the motte. Now damaged by modern road. The first historical reference to the site is in AD 1149 when itwas granted to Owain Cyfeiliog , the final reference is in AD1244. (Owen, W G 1996d, 5). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust)

Low-lying motte between Afon Twymyn and Afon Rhiw Saeson (which may have been dammed to form moats) was probably built by Owain Cyfeiliog, who was granted Cyfeiliog commote in 1149 by his uncle Madog ap Maredudd. When the latter died in 1160, his relatives quarrelled among themselves and in the confusion Cyfeiliog was taken over by Owain Gwynedd. The castle, which formed the chief seat of the commote, was captured in 1162 by Hywel ap Ieuaf, Lord of Arwystli. Owain raided Arwystli, defeated Hywel, and rebuilt Talfolwern Castle. It was occupied by Owain's son Gwenwynwyn in the later C12 and is last mentioned when Owain's grandson Gruffydd was isolated there in 1244 by a Welsh army because of his support for Henry III, and John le Strange wrote to the King urging his help. (Salter)

A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. Domen Fawr Tafolwern was the castle of the Welsh prince and poet Owern Cyfeiliog (d. AD1197). The motte stands at the confluence of two rivers, with roads running around its base on the north-west and south-east sides. It stands to a height of c.6m and measures 40m in diamter at its base, and 19m across the summit. Mill Cottage has been built within the bailey enclosure, and the line of the ditch is now obscured. (Scheduling Report)
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 08:55:12