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Gaer Noddfa, Carno

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN96259656
Latitude 52.55693° Longitude -3.53136°

Gaer Noddfa, Carno has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are uncertain remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A rectangular camp measuring about 300 feet by 200 feet, on the banks of the river Carno, immediately to the north of and adjoining the present churchyard. The line of the valla has been considerably altered, and has altogether disappeared on the site of the church. (RCAHMW)

Within its centre was a huge carn, whence my informant told me he remembered more than 1,000 loads of stone having been removed for fencing and road purposes. (Morgan)

This Roman camp with a large central mound has been considered by some writers as a castle but is rejected as such by Spurgeon as mound in Roman camp not a motte. However there is a strong tradition of medieval use of this site, which is reinforced by pottery finds and the location next to parish church but the tradition is of use as a hospice and not as a fortified site.

What was the nature of Morgan's 'huge carn'? Likely to have been made from Roman building materials but does not sound like a collapsed Roman building. A simple clearance cairn made to make the field within the enclosure cultivatable - seems excessive labour where clear flat alluvial field all around. Perhaps a collapsed medieval tower of some sort, made with poor mortar or clay bonded - not necessarily a residential tower, could be a bell or chapel tower although the possibly hospice could have used the parish church. Perhaps a largely symbolic mound, made of rubble, for a short lived manorial centre granted away to a religious foundation before records were well preserved. Spurgeon's rejection of this as the site of medieval fortified residence should be given the consideration due to such a skilled castle studies expert but need not be accepted unquestioningly.
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This record last updated 04/07/2016 10:53:16