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Castell Tinboeth, Llananno

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castelltinboeth; Tynbot; Tinbech; Timbei, Timpath; Timbod; Tynboeth; Tyn y Bwlch; Tyn yn y Bwlch; Ty yn yr Bwlch; Ty yn y Bwlch; Tilloed; Dinbaud; Dunawd; Dyneneboth; Dwybod; Dynelegh; Dymbaud

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO09027548
Latitude 52.36950° Longitude -3.33780°

Castell Tinboeth, Llananno has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle is set within an Iron Age hillfort which is roughly circular and about 100m in diameter. The rampart, which is built of stone and earth, broadens out on the east side and the entrance lies to the south-east. On the inside of the rampart is a ditch which was used as a quarry to provide material for building the bank. This ditch was deepened during the medieval period to obtain stone for building the castle. The medieval castle was probably built in the late C13 by the Mortimers. It may have been constructed by Maud, wife of Roger Mortimer after his death in 1282, at which time one of the other Mortimer castles, at Cymaron, appears to have gone out of use. The hillfort defences appear to have formed the bailey or outer ward of the castle while the inner ward was protected by a stone curtain wall and was entered at the north-east corner through a gatehouse which was about 8 metres square. The stone walls are now reduced to banks of rubble. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust)

Castell Tinboeth lies within a roughly circular Iron Age hillfort and was probably constructed in the late thirteenth century by the powerful Mortimer family. It is mentioned in documents of 1316 and 1322. The surviving remains include a bank, probably representing the remains of a ruinous wall, a ditch and a counterscarp enclosing an egg-shaped area of approximately 45m by 50m. There are traces of a twin-towered gatehouse at the north-eastern point. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a thirteenth century castle built on the site of an Iron Age hillfort (c. 800 BC - AD 74). Hillforts are usually Iocated on hilltops and surrounded by a single or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. Hillforts must have formed symbols of power within the landscape, while their function may have had as much to do with ostentation and display as defence. The medieval castle comprises a rectangular curtain wall enclosing the bailey which measures approximately 50 metres in diameter. The stone walls are now marked by rubble banks covered in turf. In the north-east corner are the remains of a gatehouse, approximately 8 metres square. The site of the old well is also apparent on the eastern side of the interior. The area surrounding Castell Tinboeth demonstrates extensive remains of structures occupied during the medieval period and therefore contemporary with the period of use of the castle. Most significant are the house platforms to the north-east of the castle. These measure c.19m by c.8m and would have been capable of supporting large rectangular buildings upon them. Also important are the quarry ditches used to obtain materials for the construction of the castle, and ramparts to the west and east of the castle. (Scheduling Report)
It has been incorrectly suggested that a Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1316 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).

Brown lists a Welsh castle at Llananno called Timbei noting that "This castle appears in English, apparently royal, hands in 1195-6" Since this castle possibly reuses a hill fort, a practice common for Welsh castles but rare in English castles it seems probable that this is an earlier use of this site and the Mortimer work was a rebuilding, in stone, of an earlier, possibly abandoned, Welsh castle.
Pettifer writes that the Mortimers were granted a licence to crenellate in 1316. This does not seem to be mentioned by any other source. There is a licence, of 1316, for Roger Mortimer to grant the castle of Dynbuad (and numerous other castles and manors in Wales) to John de Hothum and Philip ap Howel (CPR p. 491). Presumably this is what Pettifer is referring to.
Paul Remfry has examined the site and does not see traces of Iron Age work. However he does feel there was an earlier welsh castle, which he tentatively attributes to Llywelyn ab Iorwerth between 1212 and 1233. He also states that 'the Tinbei mentioned in 1195-96 is definitely Denbigh in Clwyd' and 'Maud Mortimer could not have built Tinboeth, it was a functioning castle in October 1282, their son however, was William Mortimer of Tinbeoth.' Paul Remfry has now done considerable scholarship in this area and his texts and web site should be examined.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 09:45:51