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Knighton Town Defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cnicteton; Cnichton; Knytheton; Knython; Trefylco

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO284722
Latitude 52.34563° Longitude -3.04795°

Knighton Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


Hatfield quotes a document (apparently of C15, but no reference is given) which states Knighton has a strong wall in 1402. King writes if wall existed it probably was not of masonry. Bond is happy to list it as a vanished C13 stone wall.

In 1260 Knighton secured a grant of murage for the construction of town walls, but if they were built nothing is known of their course. It is more reasonable to imagine earth and timber defences than a stone wall, since later observers would not have failed to note traces of the latter. Moreover, the town would have been relatively easy to defend as it was virtually enclosed by existing lines: to the north and east it is bounded by the River Teme, on the West by Offa's Dyke; (The welsh name for the town, Trefylco means 'the town on the ditch') and on the south by the Wylcwm Brook, the western end of which flows through a steep-sided valley. It is possible that any man-made defences were partly destroyed by Owain Glynd r who took over the town in 1402. (Soulsby)

Salter writes burgesses received grant of murage in 1260. In fact the grant of Murage was to Roger de Mortuo Mari (Roger Mortimer) of murage for his town of Knytheton for seven years from Whitsunday (Dated 8th May 1260), a second grant to Roger's bailiffs and good men issued 1277. That is it was a lordly initiative rather than one by the town's people. It may well be that these grants of murage had more to do with restating Roger's holdings and status (He had claimed back Knighton from the king in 1247), at a time when he was about to become first Baron Wigmore and was developing a major political career (he was to become Regent of England), however Roger was an active solider, had considerable enemies in Wales and amongst the English barons, and may well have also wanted to protect and defend his interests.
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This record last updated 11/06/2016 07:47:14