Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castle Mound east of Graig Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Ponthir (Pont-hir), Torfaen (Tor-faen)

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Latitude: 51.6271 / 51°37'37"N

Longitude: -2.9853 / 2°59'6"W

OS Eastings: 331895

OS Northings: 192494

OS Grid: ST318924

Mapcode National: GBR J6.8MST

Mapcode Global: VH7B6.6CNH

Entry Name: Castle Mound E of Graig Wood

Scheduled Date: 17 May 1931

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2363

Cadw Legacy ID: MM087

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte

Period: Medieval

County: Torfaen (Tor-faen)

Community: Ponthir (Pont-hir)

Built-Up Area: Caerleon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). The motte lies at the top of a steep slope down to the valley of the Dowlais Brook. It is a large oval tree covered mound with steep sides and a flat top. It is 4m high, and the top measures 13m by 22m. On the N side there is a narrow flat berm before the ground drops very steeply to the valley floor, where there is a car breakers' yard. On the W side there is a ditch 2m wide and 1m deep. This continues round to the S side where it becomes shallower - 0.3m deep. Towards the E end on this side the outer edge of the ditch has been artificially cut to form a near vertical slope and continues round the E side as a garden wall. Early mapping indicates a former bailey to the east, now under the site of the modern house. The castle is not mentioned in contemporary documents but may be related to Caerleon Park, which occupied the tract of land to the south; as a fortress it is unlikely to have survived the 12th century foundation of nearby Llantarnam Abbey.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval domestic and defensive architecture. 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.

Source: Cadw

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