Ancient Monuments

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Castell Dinas

A Scheduled Monument in Talgarth, Powys

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Latitude: 51.9632 / 51°57'47"N

Longitude: -3.1966 / 3°11'47"W

OS Eastings: 317880

OS Northings: 230085

OS Grid: SO178300

Mapcode National: GBR YY.LFQJ

Mapcode Global: VH6BW.JXYF

Entry Name: Castell Dinas

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3820

Cadw Legacy ID: BR015

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Talgarth

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales), within which a Medieval Castle was built sometime between AD 1070 and 1075, although the standing remains probably date to the thirteenth century AD. The site is located on a hilltop overlooking the pass between Mynydd Troed and the Black Mountains.

The hillfort is multivallate, roughly oval in plan, and covers an area of around 9 hectares on the summit and down the western and southern sides of the hill. The main hilltop defences comprise an inner bank, c. 2m high on the inside and 4m high on the outside, beyond which is a 2m wide ditch and an external bank around 2m high on the inside and 3m high on the outside. Outside the outer bank is a narrow berm beyond which the ground falls sharply away. A substantial cross bank cuts roughly E/W across the interior of the hillfort, dividing it into two halves. This bank is 1.5m high on the northern side and up to 3.5m high on the southern side where there is an outer ditch 0.7m deep. It post-dates the construction of the main defences . The entrance to the hillfort is at the northern end, where a holloway enters the site through a gap in the defences. On the western and southern sides of the hill are further defences. These are slighter than the main hilltop defences, and enclose areas of relatively level ground.

The remains of the castle are located in the northern half of the inner hillfort enclosure and comprise a stone-built keep surrounded by a curtain wall that was built on top of the original Iron Age defences. The castle entrance followed that of the hillfort, with a gatehouse positioned on the inner side of the hillfort defences. The remains of the gatehouse demonstrate that it would have been a rectangular building attached to the curtain wall. Traces of a tower can be seen along the western curtain wall, with a second possible tower positioned opposite the gatehouse. In the interior of the castle traces of buildings can be identified, as can the castle well, visible as a deep circular hollow. On the southern side of the castle enclosure are the remains of a substantial hall keep surrounded by an outer wall which survives as a rectangular, steep sided, stone covered mound.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric defensive organisation and settlement and medieval defensive practices. The monument is well-preserved and an important relic of the Iron Age and medieval landscapes. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of evidence 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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