Ancient Monuments

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Dingestow Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Mitchel Troy (Llanfihangel Troddi), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.79 / 51°47'23"N

Longitude: -2.7902 / 2°47'24"W

OS Eastings: 345595

OS Northings: 210442

OS Grid: SO455104

Mapcode National: GBR FH.YDHK

Mapcode Global: VH79J.L89N

Entry Name: Dingestow Castle

Scheduled Date: 9 March 1950

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2369

Cadw Legacy ID: MM113

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte

Period: Medieval

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Mitchel Troy (Llanfihangel Troddi)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of the remains of the substantial and deeply ditched earthworks of a medieval castle. It comprises two enclosures located on the SW side of the River Trothy next to the pre-Conquest church of St Dingat. The main, western, enclosure or inner ward is roughly rectangular in plan and forms an impressive raised platform measuring 54m NW/SE by 38m NE/SW and rising up to 7m above a steep-sided ditch to the W,S and E and to the river on the northern side. It is probably of natural origin, enhanced by the digging of the ditch. The lower enclosure or bailey to the SE side measures 36m NE/SE by 60m NE/SW with a lesse but well-marked ditch between 3m and 5m wide at its base and up to 2.5m deep. There is a 5m wide causeway over the ditch on the SW side that may represent an original entrance. Dingestow may have been a masonry castle in its final form. Limited amateur excavations in the 1960s on the summit of the inner ward apparently revealed the remains of thin stone walls and late medieval pottery. Documentary evidence from Giraldus Cambrensis suggests that a castle at Dingestow was built in the early 1180s by Ranulf Poer, Sheriff of Herefordshire, before being destroyed by the men of Gwent Uwchoed in 1184. It may have replaced the more conventional Mill Wood Motte and Bailey on a promontory on the opposite bank of the Trothy, although this sequence cannot be confirmed.

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 of unusual form, the inner ward appearing more like the base of a masonry castle than a conventional motte or ringwork. It forms an important relic of the medieval landscape sharing group value with the adjacent medieval church and the possibly earlier Mill Wood Motte on the opposite side of the Trothy. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both structural evidence and intact associated deposits that may corroborate contemporary documentary references to a castle in the vicinity.

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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