Ancient Monuments

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Graig Foel medieval ringwork

A Scheduled Monument in Llanbadoc (Llanbadog Fawr), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.7046 / 51°42'16"N

Longitude: -2.9136 / 2°54'49"W

OS Eastings: 336960

OS Northings: 201048

OS Grid: SO369010

Mapcode National: GBR J9.3V42

Mapcode Global: VH79V.GF02

Entry Name: Graig Foel medieval ringwork

Scheduled Date: 26 July 2005

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4223

Cadw Legacy ID: MM335

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Ringwork

Period: Medieval

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Llanbadoc (Llanbadog Fawr)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of a partial ringwork, a military stronghold probably dating to the post-Conquest 11th and 12th centuries. The ringwork forms a well defended compact enclosure, its central area bounded by a substantial crescentic rampart with external ditch and a steep natural escarpment on the NW side. The site is situated within woodland on the leading edge of a steeply-sided ridge above and to the W of the floodplain of the River Usk, overlooking the town of Usk. The interior is roughly D-shaped on plan and measures 16.5m from NW to SE by 13m transversely. The crescentic rampart measures about 6m in thickness and up to 3m in height. The rock-cut ditch measures about 1.5m in depth and about 2m in width at its base. A gap in the rampart in the NE side may represent the site of the entrance.

Ringworks were defended medieval castle enclosures serving a similar function to motte and bailey castles. They usually had a strong gatehouse, which could serve as the keep. The principal buildings, such as the lord's hall, lay within the enclosure. The surrounding bank had an external ditch and was surmounted by a timber palisade. A bridge across the ditch would give access to the entrance to the enclosure. The timber structures were sometimes rebuilt at a later date in stone.

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 in regard to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 45m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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