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Hen Domen, Llansantffraid Deuddwr

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Coed Mawr

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ24051881
Latitude 52.76156° Longitude -3.12694°

Hen Domen, Llansantffraid Deuddwr has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A roughly circular mound, 32m in diameter and c.6.0m high, having only faint traces of an encircling ditch. Excavated/opened in or before 1871. (Coflein as medieval motte)

Motte with roughly circular base diameter 32m, top diameter 14m. slight depression to NW probably ploughed out ditch. Excavation in or before 1871. Holloway adjacent (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

At a little distance, almost hidden from view, it lies on the south side of the Gelli ridge, apparently at first sight in a hollow, but really in an elevated position. The crown of the elevation has been levelled, and on the platform thus formed is the tumulus, once encircled by a ditch, which, except on the west side, is now entirely obliterated by successive ploughings. Supposing it to have been a post of observation in connection with the large encampment on Bryn-Mawr, exactly one mile distant to the north east, it would have been impossible to have selected a spot of its slight elevation commanding such an extent of mountain and lowland country, and so suitable for transmitting signals of danger, either by fire or otherwise. The following points, crowned with encampments, are visible from this post: Mathrafal, Moel Bentyrch, Cyfronydd, Cefn Bach, Llwydiarth, Rhos y Brithdir, Allt y Gadair, Cadair Ferwyn, Mynydd Tarw, Llawyn Bryn Dinas (Bryn Dinas), Gyrn, Treflach, Porthywaen Pass, Cefn digoll, Breidden, Bausley, Nescliff, Gaer fawr, Powis Castle Park, Kerry hills, etc. The soil on the summit is black, soft, and greasy, partaking a little of the character of the peaty soil of the neighbouring field; and the rank vegetation which covers the tumulus speaks of its richness. Mr. Hancock, from whose pen and ink sketch the engraving is produced, remarks, “That the section drawing exhibits its internal character and structure. The excavations that have been made expose its entire breadth to the depth of about ten or twelve feet, the lower exposed layer consists of tolerably large sized river stones, with a very thin layer of soil between, next a layer of pebbles, and then a layer of gravel, superimposed by the upper large layer of soil proceeding from coarse to fine to the surface. Between the upper the upper layer of gravel and the soil, of which its lower layer would seem to have been put in while in a state of mud, there are hollow spaces or holes into which a long stick has been pushed out of sight in a horizontal position. The tumulus is overgrown with grass, and has young oaks growing on it. The antiquary would have a difficulty in coming to any other conclusion than that this tumulus is a sepulchral erection; and excavations carried on a few feet into it below the lower exposed layer would possibly lay open a cist faen, or stone coffin. (Jones 1870)

Mound damaged by badgers. On a gentle summit. Stratified construction, perhaps erected on a barrow. Not in a likely position for a motte and Gatehouse considers doubtful although it is scheduled as a motte.
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This record last updated 04/07/2016 07:45:38