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Aberedw Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
castle in Elvayl Huchmenyt

In the community of Aberedw.
In the historic county of Radnorshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO07644739
Latitude 52.11715° Longitude -3.35035°

Aberedw Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A crenelated mansion or castle, built by Walter Hackelutel in 1284-5 in the wake of the troubles of the later thirteenth century. It apparently replaced the castle mound on higher ground some 200m to the south-east (NPRN 305749). The castle is not recorded beyond the fourteenth century. The castle is a walled enclosure, some 39-41m square, with 6.0m diameter round towers at the angles. It stands above the Wye floodplain scarps on the west and has a 10-15m wide ditch on the remaining three sides with a counterscarp bank on the north. The entrance faced east where there is a causeway across the ditch. There are some slight traces of internal buildings. The eastern towers, at least, featured latrine shoots. The castle is greatly ruined. A dismantled railway runs along the foot of the river scarp. (Coflein)

Small rectangular masonry castle and associated defences (west side destroyed by railway) comprising remains of curtain wall with towers at north-east and south-east corners. Moat visible on north, south and east sides. Entrance remaining in east side. Most of W side has been destroyed by construction of railway, but inner face of curtain wall has been preserved in parts. E curtain wall stands to 1.9m in sections, but the ditch sides opposite are eroding. SE corner tower stood to a considerable height until recently when most of it collapsed witha fallen tree. Along N side curtain wall is well preserved in places, but NE corner tower is also falling away. Much broken stone in ditch on N. Possible enclosure bank on SW, but it is mostly obscured by a building. (Cadw 1985) The stone castle almost certainly dates from c1284 for Walter Hakelutel received a licence to crenellate by 1285 (Silvester, R J 1994b, 12). Survey carried out by CPAT for Cadw in 1994 identified the main components of the castle but highlighted their poor condition and the active erosion that is taking place (Jones, N & Frost, P 1994, 76-8; Jones, N W 1995b). No significant change in condition since 1994, though some erosion possible. (Cadw 2000) (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument consists of the remains of a castle, dating to the medieval period. A castle is a defended residence or stronghold, built mainly of stone, in which the principal or sole defence comprises the walls and towers bounding the site. Some form of keep may have stood within the enclosure but these were not significant in defensive terms and served mainly to provide accommodation. Aberedw Castle overlooks the floodplain of the river Wye and consists of a small rectangular masonry structure c.39m to c.41m square, which would originally have had round towers c.6m in diameter at each corner. It is surrounded by a ditch on the north, south and east sides and the eastern side is broken by a well-preserved entrance with a causeway across the ditch. Most of the western side has been destroyed by the construction of the railway but the inner face of the curtain wall is evident in parts. The eastern curtain wall is still standing to a height of about 1.9m in sections. The masonry is however in a generally crumbling condition. There are some slight traces of internal buildings. This castle is probably the successor to the nearby motte (Scheduled Ancient Monument RD117) and almost certainly dates from c.1284-5, as Walter Hakelutel received a licence to crenellate by 1285 in the wake of the defeat of the Welsh under Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. It is not recorded beyond the 14th century. (Scheduling Report)
It has been incorrectly suggested that a Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1284 Nov 24 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).

The supposed licence to crenellate in 1285 is, in fact, a grant for Walter Hackelutel, a knight of Edmund Mortimer, to hold the castle he had already begun needed because of changes of ownership. The Close Roll entry does say 'the king has pardoned Walter Hackelutel, in consideration of his grateful service to the king and of his costs and expenses in newly erecting a house in the Welsh marches and afterwards crenellating (kernelandam) it by the king's licence for the security of those parts, a debt of 57l.' but this is a court scribal style. No Patent Letter was granted. This is not the same as saying this house was not fortified, it clearly was, although the security to the kings rule in these parts may have come more from having a loyal armed knight in the area than from this small, but secure, courtyard castle.
A sadly unloved site notable for farmyard rubbish and dog shit.
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This record last updated 20/04/2017 04:37:39