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Camrose Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the community of Camrose.
In the historic county of Pembrokeshire.
Modern authority of Pembrokeshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SM92671989
Latitude 51.83893° Longitude -5.01089°

Camrose Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a Masonry Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Near the church stands the remains of "Camrose castle", a Norman motte and bailey, probably dating from C12, hidden amongst trees in the grounds of Camrose house. This castle was probably never more than a wooden tower on top of the motte, surrounded by an earthen bank and ditch. It is likely that it was abandoned at an early date and a manor house built to replace it on the site now occupied by Camrose house.

The currently ditchless motte, 34m in diameter and 4.8m high, has been adapted as a garden feature , with a spiral walk, yew plantings and a wall about the 16m summit. The bailey, now isolated by a modern road to the N of the motte, has a remaining area of 24m by 28m, and is defined by a bank with a ditch to the W and steep slopes to the NE and E. It is suggested that, rather than representing a medieval castle, the 'motte' was originally a viewing platform for the gardens of Camrose House. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. 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. Camrose Mound & Bailey Castle measures 50ft across the top and 30ft high. It has old yew trees growing on top and saplings on its sides. It has been made into a garden feature with steps and dry stone walling around the top and bottom of the mound - but is quite derelict now. The bailey is on the north side of the road and is defended by a bank rising 12ft above a ditch. (Scheduling Report)

n the Castle of Wales website page John Northall suggests there is a shell keep on the motte stating "The possible existance of a shell keep seems to have been entirely overlooked by historians, perhaps because they believed it to be part of the folly walling erected 200 years ago." No professional historian or archaeologist is perfect and the 'experts' do make mistakes and can overlook things. However Mr Northall is not a professional archaeologist and, in my experience of his writing and observations, he does not seem a particularly well read amateur and the likely reason no one else has seen this 'shell keep' is because it is actually a recent feature. Whilst the motte has been clearly adapted as a viewing platform there seems little real doubt this did start out as a Norman castle. (Philip Davis)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
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Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 09:02:28