Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Brecon Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Brecon (Aberhonddu), Powys

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Latitude: 51.9494 / 51°56'57"N

Longitude: -3.3938 / 3°23'37"W

OS Eastings: 304301

OS Northings: 228800

OS Grid: SO043288

Mapcode National: GBR YP.M6T1

Mapcode Global: VH6BZ.485D

Entry Name: Brecon Castle

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1709

Cadw Legacy ID: BR022

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Castle

Period: Medieval

County: Powys

Community: Brecon (Aberhonddu)

Built-Up Area: Brecon

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


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 castle is thought to have been built around 1093 by Bernard de Neufmarche and comprises a 10m high Motte and an adjacent Bailey, now lying within the private garden of Ely Tower, the residence of the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon. On the summit of the Motte are the remains of a masonry shell keep and tower of probable 12th century date. The area of the Bailey extends westwards from the Motte and has been converted into an ornamental garden. A 20th century garden path has been built up the side of the Motte.

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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