Ancient Monuments

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Builth Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Builth (Llanfair-ym-Muallt), Powys

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Latitude: 52.1492 / 52°8'57"N

Longitude: -3.3985 / 3°23'54"W

OS Eastings: 304409

OS Northings: 251028

OS Grid: SO044510

Mapcode National: GBR YN.6RNN

Mapcode Global: VH6B0.17QQ

Entry Name: Builth Castle

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3821

Cadw Legacy ID: BR031

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte

Period: Medieval

County: Powys

Community: Builth (Llanfair-ym-Muallt)

Built-Up Area: Builth Wells

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). The site comprises a large, steep sided Motte, standing 18m high above the ditch with a summit 18.5m in diameter, and two Baileys. One Bailey is located to the SW of the Motte and measures approximately 120m by 20m, the second is located to the SE and measures 60m by 10m. Both Baileys are surrounded by a deep ditch with an outer encircling bank. The original Builth Castle was built around 1100 by Philip de Breos and would have comprised a Motte and Bailey with a wooden keep and timber fortifications. The first stone castle was built around1240 but was destroyed by the Welsh in the 1260s. The castle subsequently became one of the ten key castles built in Wales by Edward I, with work starting in 1277. A substantial stone fortification was built on and around the orignal Motte and Bailey, including a shell keep, a stone curtain wall with six towers, a defended drawbridge and a stone outer wall. The works were never completed and much of the stone structure was removed in the 16th century to build a house on the site of the modern White House. Nothing of the stone fortificationis visible on the site today.

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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