Ancient Monuments

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Blaenporth Mound and Bailey Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Aberporth (Aber-porth), Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.111 / 52°6'39"N

Longitude: -4.5343 / 4°32'3"W

OS Eastings: 226552

OS Northings: 248881

OS Grid: SN265488

Mapcode National: GBR D4.95YD

Mapcode Global: VH2MR.C67K

Entry Name: Blaenporth Mound and Bailey Castle

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1949

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2554

Cadw Legacy ID: CD070

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte & Bailey

Period: Medieval

County: Ceredigion

Community: Aberporth (Aber-porth)

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


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. This site, also known as Castell Gwithian, rests on steep natural scarps above the confluence of two minor stream valleys. It includes a rather irregular enclosure, measuring c.110m east-west by 85m, which takes advantage of the natural defences on the north and north-east, and is defined by a ditch and rampart, now much degraded, on the south-west and south. There are indications of a curvilinear ditched enclosure, about 40m across, set within the eastern part of this area. To its east, taking advantage of the natural topography, is an oval mound, c.40m north-east to south-west by 37m, and between 4.4 and 7.0m high, with a dished summit perhaps hinting at underlying stone walling. The sub-rectangular area c.32m across, occupied by the property immediately to the south-west of the mound, may conceivably have been the site of an inner enclosure. The castle, with its adjacent borough enclosure, was established in 1110 and may have been destroyed in 1116.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive organisation. The well-preserved monument forms an important element within the wider medieval context and the structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information relating to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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