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Castell Caemaerdy, Llanelwedd

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castell Cae Maerdy; Cefn Dyrys; Caemardy

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO03465301
Latitude 52.16690° Longitude -3.41299°

Castell Caemaerdy, Llanelwedd has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Medieval castle mound or motte, once supporting a timber castle. Now wooded, the motte stands approximately 3.8m high and is 20m in diameter. (Coflein)

Tumulus or fortified mound - general appearance favours tumulus, but situation favours mound (Anon, 1911). Mound 20ft high, 260ft circumference, no ditch visible - probably a motte (RCAHM, 1913). Because of small size, unlikely that this was a castle mound. Perhaps a burial mound? (Cadw, 1992). Mound is approximately 3.8m high and 11m in diameter and is located on the edge of a steep west-facing scarp. There is no sign of a ditch or a bailey to the east of it. There are a number of stones on the summit but they do not appear to be structural. Remfry suggests that it may be a motte constructed on a pre-existing burial ground (Cadw, 2000). Large steep-sided roughly circular mound, c. 11m diameter x 3.8m high. Sited in a prominent location with good views to west. On the summit there is a spread of large stones which may have been part of a structure. The mound is too steep-sided and generally too large to be a barrow, and it does not have that appearance. It is rather small for a motte. Possibly an 18th century viewing platform/gazebo mound, sited here for spectacular views, and associated with Cefndyrys House (CPAT 2002) (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte, probably dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. This example is sited in a prominent location with good views to the west but is unusually small, measuring only c.3.8m high and c.25m in diameter, with little obvious trace of a ditch. On the summit is a spread of large stones which may have been part of a structure. The mound is too steep-sided and generally too large to be a burial mound, and it does not have that appearance. It may have been used, or even built, in the 18th century as a viewing platform and/or gazebo mound, sited here for spectacular views, and associated with Cefndyrys House nearby. (Scheduling Report)

Clearly not a military base but may well have been a medieval mound demonstrating the knightly status of the tenant. An origin as a barrow would not exclude medieval use nor later reuse as a prospect mound.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 09:44:16