Ancient Monuments

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Dinas Powis Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg)

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Latitude: 51.4374 / 51°26'14"N

Longitude: -3.2203 / 3°13'13"W

OS Eastings: 315275

OS Northings: 171637

OS Grid: ST152716

Mapcode National: GBR HW.NNPF

Mapcode Global: VH6FL.44FF

Entry Name: Dinas Powis Castle

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1025

Cadw Legacy ID: GM021

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Castle

Period: Medieval

County: Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg)

Community: Dinas Powys

Built-Up Area: Dinas Powis

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a medieval castle. Dating to around 1200 or slightly earlier, it was occupied into the 13th century and possibly later. It is located at the southern end of a narrow ridge, with steep slopes below on all but the south-east side – this gave the site great natural strength.

Only the curtain wall of Dinas Powys Castle remains standing, and much of this is ruinous; but from the outside the castle still has the appearance of a defensive stronghold. The castle has a rectangular keep measuring 18m by 13m which is reduced to rubble. The very ruined north-west half of the early keep stands in a thicket just beyond the north curtain wall. It appears to have been a typical early Norman example, rectangular, with very thick walls, and it extended up to and possibly slightly beyond the curtain wall. When this was built a doorway, now a ragged gap, was made into the keep’s basement.

The curtain wall is straight sectioned without corner towers and encloses a roughly rectangular area. The main entrance on the south-east side was originally a simple round-headed archway; now its merely a ragged gap, with a draw bar hole on its west side. A narrow postern gate with a pointed arch is located in the north-east wall and there are indications that masonry and timber buildings including a great hall will have lined the walls. The north-east and north-west curtain walls are high and well preserved, with much of their facing stone still in place. Putlog holes are the only relieving feature in their otherwise blank surfaces. The south-west wall is in poor condition and has lost most of its facing stone. The south-east side has the only window gaps in the castle and a fine east corner with large dressed Sutton stone alternating quoins.

The castle was the centre of the lordship of Dinas Powys, and was held by the Norman de Sumeri family certainly in the mid-12th century and possibly earlier; the lordship was probably acquired by Roger de Sumeri soon after the initial Norman conquest of the area.

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