Ancient Monuments

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Castell Carn Dochan

A Scheduled Monument in Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.861 / 52°51'39"N

Longitude: -3.7139 / 3°42'50"W

OS Eastings: 284705

OS Northings: 330660

OS Grid: SH847306

Mapcode National: GBR 67.RY1G

Mapcode Global: WH679.XCM0

Entry Name: Castell Carn Dochan

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3208

Cadw Legacy ID: ME049

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Castle

Period: Medieval

County: Gwynedd

Community: Llanuwchllyn

Traditional County: Merionethshire


A Welsh castle, probably built by Llywellyn ap Iorwerth between 1215 and 1230. It is situated on a rocky summit above the Lliw valley, at the NE end of a ridge, with superb views. The remains consist of a curtain wall, with three towers built into its line, and a central tower. A rock-cut ditch (which may also have served as a quarry) forms a further defence from the ridge on the SW side. To the SW of the ditch is the base of a limekiln, presumably used in the production of mortar during construction of the castle walls.

The simple entrance is in the S curtain wall, against the E wall of the apsidal tower.

The apsidal tower at the W end is of coursed, mortared masonry, and built to a higher standard than the rest of the masonry. The E wall stands 1.5 m high from the E side, with well-preserved masonry, but on the interior the inner wall face has fallen away from the upper courses. In the SE corner the rubble has been dug away to expose the wall to a height of 2.5 - 3 m. The N wall contains a 2-m wide break. The apsidal W end, standing just over 1 m high, appears partly corbelled at the upper levels. Much of the inner face of the wall has fallen away.

The N curtain wall is a low, grass-covered stone wall, with parts of the inner face visible in the centre of its length.

The round tower at the NE end is dug into solid rock on the S, E and W sides. The remaining masonry is poor and uncoursed.

The S curtain wall is a low, grass-covered stone wall, incorporating a D-shaped tower at its S end, close to the entrance.

The inner, square tower, is largely obscured by rubble, although the inner face of the N wall is visible to a height of 0.5m. The remains of a poorly constructed dry-stone wall connects the central tower with the apsidal tower. Its character is different to any other masonry on the site and may be a later addition.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval settlement and defence. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structures themselves may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

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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