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New Moat Motte

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Nova Mota

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN06362536
Latitude 51.89305° Longitude -4.81533°

New Moat Motte has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The earthworks of a motte and bailey castle can be seen at New Moat. The motte is about 40m in diameter and 5.0m high, having a summit area 20m in diameter; a low mound, 7.0m in diameter, set at the centre of the motte summit, is thought unlikely to represent a building, or structure. The mound is ditched and counterscarped, some 54m overall diameter. OS County series (Pembroke. XVII.16 1889) depicts a water-filled moat. The motte is set astride the eastern side of a subrectangular, round-angled bailey enclosure, about 125m NNE-SSW by up to 80m, this being defined by banks, or scarps and showing indications of a ditch, or moat. Further earthworks have been noted, some 200m to the south-west, where OS County series shows 'the Mote (site of)' (NAR SN02NE23), whilst a linear earthwork feature is apparent on aerial photographs leading north-east from the motte (RCAHMW 89-CS 548); these features may relate to the medieval borough; burgesses, but no market, being recorded at New Moat in 1326 (Kissock 1997, 132). (Coflein–ref. Kissock)

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. The motte measures 60ft in diameter across the top and 20ft high and is surrounded by a wet ditch. There is a 3ft counterscarp bank outside the ditch in places. The bailey bank starts on the south and turns in a southwesterly direction. This is almost completely ploughed out. (Scheduling Report)

The name does suggest this was a new castle on a virgin site and the base for a planned new town, which given the size of the parish church may have had some initial success, but ultimately failed to flourish as a town.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 09:28:14