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Latitude: 51.5922 / 51°35'31"N
Longitude: -3.1195 / 3°7'10"W
OS Eastings: 322542
OS Northings: 188739
OS Grid: ST225887
Mapcode National: GBR J0.BXQQ
Mapcode Global: VH6DV.W76S
Entry Name: Castell Meredydd
Scheduled Date: 14 February 1973
Source ID: 2410
Cadw Legacy ID: MM186
Schedule Class: Defence
County: Newport (Casnewydd)
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
The monument consists of the remains of a castle, dating to the medieval period. The castle remains occupy a pair of rocky outcrops at the southern edge of a shelf on steeply rising ground above the Rhymney Valley, overlooked dramatically by Mynydd Machen to the north. On the eastern outcrop are the remains of a small circular keep around 10m in diameter, comprising two stretches of sandstone rubble stone walling up to 2.2m high with a rectangular latrine chute extending down the cliff face to the south. A few courses of walling survive of a short stretch of curtain wall filling the gap between the two outcrops. A second building, perhaps a rectangular tower or hall occupied the level summit of the western outcrop, measuring 12m E/W by 7m. Running west from this is a collapsed wall which turns to the north as a spread stony bank to form the western side of a roughly square bailey or enclosure. The footings of an irregular rectangular building of uncertain date are located near the centre of this, beyond which the bank continues NE towards the garden of a modern cottage, much of the northern side of the enclosure being reduced to weak scarps. The eastern side of the enclosure is defined by a massive stony bank 2-3m high, which must cover a substantial fragment fo curtain wall. The castle is traditionally thought to have been built by Maeredydd Gethin, Prince of Gwynllwg before 1201, although the first direct documentary reference to it is in the mid 13th century, by which time it had fallen into Clare hands, apparently through some legal intrigue. it is possible that at least some of the masonry remains may date from after this period when Machen Forest was held as a hunting reserve by the Clares.
The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive and domestic architecture. With the possible exception of Castell Arnallt (MM086) it is the only documented Welsh masonry castle in Gwent of which physical remains can be identified, and of exceptional rarity of only a few in south Wales. The monument is well-preserved and an important relic of the medieval landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both structural evidence and intact associated deposits.
The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.
Other nearby scheduled monuments