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Latitude: 52.3239 / 52°19'25"N
Longitude: -3.2444 / 3°14'39"W
OS Eastings: 315282
OS Northings: 270260
OS Grid: SO152702
Mapcode National: GBR 9W.VMW3
Mapcode Global: VH693.QV5D
Entry Name: Castell Cwm Aran
Source ID: 1944
Cadw Legacy ID: RD095
Schedule Class: Defence
Category: Motte & Bailey
Community: Llanddewi Ystradenny (Llanddewi Ystradenni)
Traditional County: Radnorshire
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. In this case the motte is roughly rectangular with a summit measuring c.38m by 20m. It stands 15m high above the valley to the south and east, and 9.5m above a rock-cut ditch to the west and north. Across the ditch, to the north of the motte, lies a trapezoidal bailey c.47m by 49-62m, which is surrounded by banks on all four sides. The banks are accompanied by outer ditches on the west and north; the position of a ditch is represented by a scarp along the valley slope on the east, and on the south the ditch is shared with the motte. On the north and west the bailey bank stands c.3-4m above the base of the ditch. An outer counterscarp bank, with a small tump adjoining its southern end, runs along the west side of both the motte and bailey ditches, while there are hints of a further enclosure c.20m deep to the north of the bailey. Across the stream to the south-south-east of the motte, earthen platforms are visible on two levels. It has been suggested that these would be well placed to house siege equipment during an attack on the castle. The site was one of the seats of the Mortimer family in Maeliennydd, and is mentioned frequently in historical sources in the mid- to late-12th century. Its end is uncertain, but it may have been abandoned in favour of Tinboeth nearby. There is no sign that the original earthwork structure was ever refurbished in stone.
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.
Other nearby scheduled monuments