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Cefnllys Old Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Dinieithon; Kenflyc; Dinyetha in Melenith

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO09206303
Latitude 52.25792° Longitude -3.33167°

Cefnllys Old Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A ditched motte or ringwork, 60m by 46m overall, resting on steep scarps above the Irfon to the S. On the summit a court, 13.5m by 16m, is enclosed by ramparts except on the S, towards the river, where it is open. Possible indications of a bailey to the NW. (Coflein)

Ring motte. about 5m high. partly encircled by ditch 0.9m deep. flat summit of mound enclosed (except at s) by 1m high bank. bank 7m wide 20m long 1.2m high to w of motte. prob bailey remains to W. Mound thrown up and wooden keep constructed between 1066-1086 by Roger Mortimer. Consisted of a wooden tower set on the flattened top of a mound, and surrounded by a wooden fence. This castle was still in use in 1104, but the Mortimers decided to build a new castle in a more defensive spot in 1242 (Gregory, D, 1994, 52). Motte identified by Remfry as Dinieithon, built by Ralph Mortimer between 1093-5 and succeeded by Cefnllys Castle by 1242. Summit has a bank which is continuous except on the S side where it has eroded away. No sign of a bailey (Cadw, 2000). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte or ringwork and ditch, 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. A ringwork is similar but has a distinct bank around the edge of the summit. Old Castle Mound stands above a steep scarp overlooking the river Irfon, which runs immediately to its south. The central mound is c.40m in diameter at its base, with a roughly D-shaped summit, measuring c.16m north-south by c.13.5m. The summit is surrounded by a bank on all sides apart from the south, where it is open above the river. The mound as a whole is surrounded by a ditch c.0.5m deep on its west, north and east, which again runs out into the natural scarp on the south. A bailey has been suggested to the north-west, though little trace of this is now visible. (Scheduling Report)

Motte overlooking river crossing. If this is same as Dinyetha in Melenith then founded pre 1100.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 09:57:21