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Glasbury Motte

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO17543915
Latitude 52.04432° Longitude -3.20367°

Glasbury Motte has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


A mound, 40m by 25m and 1.0m high, now appears from OsLandline to have been built over by Brookside Close and Brooklyn in particular. (Coflein)

Site of motte (40m NW/SE by 25m side by 1m high) and probable bailey. Destroyed by housing development 1975 to 1979 (CPAT site visit, 1979; CPAT archive, 1982). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The earliest form of the name is 'Clastbyrig', recorded in 1056 In the 16th century, its Welsh name was 'Y Clas ar Wy', meaning the 'clas on the Wye'. The Welsh element 'clas' signifies an early medieval religious centre, while the English 'bum' refers to a defended site.
The 'clas' foundation, dedicated to St Cynidr, is reputed to have been established in the 7th century AD, probably on Fynnon Gynydd common some 2.5km north-north-west of the village. The 'bum' suffix has not been satisfactorily explained, but Sylvester speculated that a defensible nucleated village may have been established here by Mercians after the battle of 'Clastbirig' in 1056 which reputedly took place in the vicinity. The manor of Glasbury was granted to St Peters, Gloucester at that time, thus providing an explanation for the church's dedication.
Soon after the Norman Conquest in 1090 a new church was built on the north bank of the River Wye and dedicated to St Peter. This in tum was abandoned during the 17th century when a shift in the course of the river left it on the south bank. Stonework of this medieval structure still lies on the Brecknock side, and its immediate replacement, built further away from the river, was also in Brecknock.
This is one of only a handful of genuine nucleated villages in Radnor District which probably go back to the Middle Ages.
A motte and probable bailey lay on the north side of the Wye . Its slight remains - a low mound and traces of a ditch - were apparently levelled and destroyed during housing construction between 1975 and 1979, though it is possible that sub-surface features survive in the plots not yet developed. (Silvester 1994)

Suggested as site mentioned by Leland. A castle of Glasbury is mentioned between 1180-1211 (Renn ref. Duchy of Lancaster Ancient Charters LS. 27/1) which may be any of the several mottes in the area.
The Saxon 'burh' may have been a lordship site, rather than a communal defence and, if so, it may be the Norman castle occupied that site.
No earthworks are shown on the early OS maps suggesting the remains built over in the 1970's were already seriously damaged although there will have been further damage to the archaeological potential of an interesting site by these developments.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER            
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This record last updated 11/06/2016 07:46:33