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Presteigne; The Warden

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO30966450
Latitude 52.27422° Longitude -3.01367°

Presteigne; The Warden has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A sub-oval enclosure, c.43m by 21m, defined by scarps along the S, elsewhere by a bank and ditch, with a further, rectilinear enclosure, c.49m by 37m, on the E, defined by scarps. 'Castle ditch' mentioned 1337, area landscaped in C19. (Coflein)

Ringwork with possible bailey. Interior of ringwork about 1.6m above general level of bailey area. Remains of ditch north and west. Bank 0.5m high forms north-west and east side of ringwork. Levelled by Llewelyn in 1262 and landscaped in 19th century. Motte c38m diameter, situated c2m from one end of bailey and c45m from the other. (Silvester, R J 1994b, 144). On rocky promontory commanding the valley of the Lugg, corresponding to Stapleton Castle on the opposite side of the river. Motte is oval measuring 40.5m W/E and 23m N/S. Attached bailey measures approx 50m W/E x 38m N/S. Little trace of ditch, except to NE, and W of motte itself. E bank of bailey between 1m and 1.5m high. (Cadw 1986) Motte is 2.0m high on E. Bailey level, but no visible surrounding ditch. (Cadw 1998). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. The Warden stands on a rocky promontory commanding the valley of the Lugg, forming a pair with Stapleton Castle on the opposite side of the river. The motte is unusually large, measuring c.43m east-west by c.21m, and appears more like a ringwork, with a bank around its edge rising c.0.5m above the level interior on the west, north and east sides, and traces of an outer ditch on the west and north-east; along the south side there is only a scarp. Adjoining this structure, to its east, at a general level about 1.6m lower, is a sub-rectangular bailey area measuring c.42m west-south-west to east-north-east by c.35m internally, defined by scarps. The site is said to have been levelled by Llywelyn in 1262, but was again mentioned as 'castle ditch' in 1337; the whole area was landscaped in the 19th century. (Scheduling Report)

Survived well into C13 never rebuilt in stone. Mentioned as captured, by Llewelyn, in 1262.
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 10:12:03