Ancient Monuments

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Castell Coch

A Scheduled Monument in Ystradfellte, Powys

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Latitude: 51.8189 / 51°49'8"N

Longitude: -3.5454 / 3°32'43"W

OS Eastings: 293579

OS Northings: 214494

OS Grid: SN935144

Mapcode National: GBR YG.WR6N

Mapcode Global: VH5G0.HJKZ

Entry Name: Castell Coch

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1023

Cadw Legacy ID: BR081

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte & Bailey

Period: Medieval

County: Powys

Community: Ystradfellte

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. The castle remains are located on a high triangular bluff between the rivers Llia and Dringarth, immediately N of their confluence. It is a dramatic position, and a good defensive one, with precipitous natural scarps to the E and W. The weakest side is to the N where the ground rises gently, and here the castle is defended by a massive steep-sided bank, 3-4m high inside and out. Outside the wall is a flat bottomed ditch, 1.5- 1.8m deep on the outside. The bank curves southwards at its E end and stops just short of the natural scarp. The castle remains are located at the southern end of the bluff, where it narrows considerably. The northern part consists of a roughly rectangular mound of stones, 2.2m high, with steep sides covered with tumbled stone. The top of the mound has tumbled walls around it, 1-1.6m high and the roughly rectangular interior is full of stonesand has a small hollow in the middle. Outside the wall, on the N side, is a straight, discontinous low stony bank running E-W. There is a gap in the NE corner and it then continues N-S along the top of the natural scarp. To the S of the mound is a small open area and right at the end of the bluff a roughly circular mound 2.5-2.7m high, with ruined walls surrounding the top. Below the bluff, to the S, a substantial E/W orientated ditch, 2-3m deep, has been cut through the peninsula between the two rivers. The only historical record relating to the site dates to 1239, when the castle was held by William de Braose.

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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