Ancient Monuments

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Llanvair Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Caerwent (Caer-went), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.6278 / 51°37'40"N

Longitude: -2.8021 / 2°48'7"W

OS Eastings: 344577

OS Northings: 192414

OS Grid: ST445924

Mapcode National: GBR JF.8RVS

Mapcode Global: VH7B9.DB0Z

Entry Name: Llanvair Castle

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1933

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2351

Cadw Legacy ID: MM047

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Castle

Period: Medieval

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Caerwent (Caer-went)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of the remains of a castle, dating to the medieval period. The castle is located on the W edge of the village of Llanfair Discoed, immediately W of the churchyard. It is thought to date from the 13th century, when the FitzPayn family held the Lordship of Llanfair Discoed. The castle is now incorporated into the garden of a modern house. The remains of the castle comprise three round towers, stretches of curtain wall on the S, E and W sides, and an internal section of walling.

Along the S side of the site, the curtain wall stands to a height of 10m on the outside and 5m high on the inside. The wall retains much of its facing stone, although some sections have been lost from the lower half of the structure. In the centre of the wall is an opening, possibly for a staircase with a lancet window. There are corner towers at each end of the S curtain wall, with the SE tower surviving to a height of 14m with most of its facing stone in place. Inside the tower measures 3m in diameter. There are traces of three floors within the tower, with an entrance at ground floor level and another doorway above. There are two tapered slit windows at ground floor level and a third which has been blocked, and additional windows on the upper levels. The top part of the tower was built from a different stone to the rest of the structure, and is likely to be the result of rebuilding or redesign. There is a doorway from this upper level, on the W side, out onto the wall walk on the curtain wall. The curtain wall continues N from the SW corner tower, and stands to a height of 4m. An isolated round tower, 3m high, is located to the W of the SW corner tower, detached from the curtain wall.

Below the curtain wall and the towers on the S side is a ditch and an outer bank. The bank is uneven, 1-2m high, and outside it the ground drops steeply down to a small vale below. The bank and ditch extend out into a grass field on the E side and into the modern garden on the W side.

Running E/W across the middle of the site are the discontinuous remains of a thick wall, 1.5m wide. The W section is 1.8m high, to the E of which is an entrance 2.5m wide, beyond which the wall continues again. To the E of the entrance the wall stands 3.5m high. This could be the remains of a building within the castle ward.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive 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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