Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castell Foel-Allt

A Scheduled Monument in Whitton (Llanddewi yn Hwytyn), Powys

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Latitude: 52.3023 / 52°18'8"N

Longitude: -3.0889 / 3°5'20"W

OS Eastings: 325846

OS Northings: 267687

OS Grid: SO258676

Mapcode National: GBR B2.X45Y

Mapcode Global: VH76V.DDWF

Entry Name: Castell Foel-Allt

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1924

Cadw Legacy ID: RD060

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte & Bailey

Period: Medieval

County: Powys

Community: Whitton (Llanddewi yn Hwytyn)

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. Castell Foel-Allt is situated above the north bank of the river Lugg and consists of a motte and a complex of earthwork enclosures which may reflect more than one phase of construction; the site measures c.190m north-west to south east by c.100m overall. The motte, which is c.37m in diameter at the base and c.11m across the summit, stands in the south-eastern corner of the complex. It rises c.5m above the base of the surrounding ditch, which has a counterscarp bank outside it. Immediately to the west-north-west of the motte is a small banked and ditched enclosure measuring c.40m north-south by c.10m internally. The western bank and ditch of this area are prolonged c.20m towards the north-east, as is the counterscarp to the east of the motte; the northern side of the resulting area, which measures c.50m north-west to south-east by c.20m, is now formed by a trackway with a small tributary stream beyond. The apparent lack of defences along this side of the site may suggest that it has at some stage been truncated by stream action; the stream by itself is not an especially substantial obstacle. To the west and north-west of the bank and ditch defining the inner two enclosures lies a further roughly triangular enclosed area defined by scarps on the south-west and west, though with little obvious defence on the north-east apart from the small stream. A further scarp or slight bank divides this area, with the southern third, measuring 60m north-west to south-east by c.40m, at a slightly higher level than the remainder, which measures c.80m north-west to south-east by c.50m. Traces of possible building platforms are visible immediately below the scarp. This scarp also appears on the same line in the adjacent inner bailey, suggesting a possible earlier layout beneath the present plan. At the northern corner of the site is a second substantial mound c.25m east-west by c.20m and c.4m high, which has been claimed as a burial place for the fallen at the nearby battle of Bryn Glas in 1402, though it may in fact be a natural feature.

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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