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Knapp Farm Mound

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Old Radnor; Maes Hyfaidd; Knap

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO24585997
Latitude 52.23288° Longitude -3.10601°

Knapp Farm Mound has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A mutilated and truncated mound, c.25m in diameter and 5.0m high, thought unlikely to have been a castle mound, a sepulchral function being preferred. (Coflein)

Flat topped motte 4.5m high. dai 28m N-S by 32m. top 6m dia. certain amount of modern mutilation around base on W side.
Possibly a prehistoric monument rather than a motte (Gibson, 1999).
Generally assumed to be a motte, but unlike the other mottes in the vicinity it is not flat-topped, appears to have no surrounding ditch and is not surrounded by ridge and furrow. May possibly be related to large mounds like Silbury Hill (Gibson, A, 2000, 49).
Mound - not possible to say whether sepulchral or defensive without excavating. Other tumuli in the area, and its position, unsuitable for defensive construction, make it seem more likely a barrow.
Mound is 20ft high and 20ft diameter at summit. Planted over with trees. No traces of an enclosure; the low banks near it are probably connected with later farming. (RCAHM 1913)
Motte with no surrounding ditch (Downman 1916)
Motte 4.5m high, Diameter 28m (N-S) , 32m (E-W) and flat top 6m diameter. No trace of bailey or ditch (OS 1973)
Motte (Renn 1968)
Appearance more suggestive of a motte than barrow (Cadw AM7)
Motte 4.5m high. Base diameter 28m N-S x 32m E-W. Flat summit, diameter 6m. Grass covered with some large trees (Cadw 1986)
Site may belong to a class of large barrow such as those known in Wessex and Yorkshire Proximity to 2 other well-preserved barrows and the Walton and Hindwell Neolithic enclosures may be relevant. Height 5m, base diameter 25m, Site truncated on E and S sides. Contour survey of mound. (Gibson 1997a).
Partly truncated on E side by a wall. On W side there is some diturbance possibly due to roots. (CPAT 2002). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument consists of a mound, an artificial elevation of earth or stones. It was formerly considered to be the remains of a motte, a castle mound dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD), but more recent commentators prefer to see it as forming part of the prehistoric ritual landscape of the Walton Basin, much of which can be dated to the Neolithic or Bronze Age (c 4,200BC - 800BC). The mound is somewhat mutilated and truncated by later activity. It measures c.28m north-south by c.32m and is c.4.5m high. (Scheduling Report)

A difficult mound to interpret although it should be made clear that a prehistoric origin does not exclude medieval adaptation and use as a motte. If this was being used as a mainly symbolic mound, showing the knightly status of tenant of the farmstead, a flat top may not have been essential and there is little reason to give consideration to 'defensive construction'. However the evidence that this originated as a route-side barrow is good and the evidence for medieval use is weak.
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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This record last updated 07/07/2016 10:04:08