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Castell Llanddeiniolen

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the community of Llanddeiniolen.
In the historic county of Caernarfonshire.
Modern authority of Gwynedd.
Preserved county of Gwynedd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SH56956554
Latitude 53.16775° Longitude -4.14117°

Castell Llanddeiniolen has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castell, a hill of glacial drift 25-30ft high above road which skirts its N side. The top is oval, c.90ft by 110ft. The N and NW slopes are steep; the E and S area more gentle and have been scarped to form a ditch and outer bank, which are faint where they cross the easiest line of approach on the SE. On the NE a gravel pit has encroached nearly to the summit of the mound (RCAHMW). Mound known as 'Castell' could be largely artificial but the natural hill has clearly been scarped in places to take full advantage of the situation. Around most of the S half there is a marked 'terrace' in the slope of the mound which would seem to represent either a stepped construction or more probably an external bank perhaps with a ditch also. Although generally described as a motte it does not seem entirely typical bearing some similarity to Irish raised raths and small Iron Age forts. There must therefore be some doubt about designation. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER)

A quarry was encroached substantially on the NW side revealing that the mound is largely comprised of coarse sand and gravel which, in this part appear natural. Although generally described as a motte it does not seem entirely typical, bearing some similarity to Irish raised raths and small Iron Age forts. There must therefore be some doubt about the site type/period/form designation given as Medieval/Norman. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER ref.–King, 1983)

An intriguing site which resembles a mediaeval ringwork, although perhaps prehistoric in origin. Traces of defences are very faint, and only on the S side. Here, there is some stone at the edge of the relatively level top of the hill, and a distinct, if slight, terrace a little further down, again with some stone in the edge. The track which runs past the east side of the site is sunken, and a retaining wall over 1 m high forms the west side. This may be the line of a ditch protecting the site on the accessible east side. The base of a more recent field wall runs round the south and west sides of the site. (Scheduling Report)

The location is that of a farmstead rather than a settlement and, therefore somewhat untypical for a castle although a number of farmstead held by military service do have small, mainly symbolic, mottes. It is, of course, entirely possible that an Iron Age site was reused in the medieval period with more or less alteration.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 21:48:53