Ancient Monuments

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Medieval House Sites west of Trellech Church

A Scheduled Monument in Trellech United (Tryleg Unedig), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.7461 / 51°44'45"N

Longitude: -2.7261 / 2°43'33"W

OS Eastings: 349968

OS Northings: 205514

OS Grid: SO499055

Mapcode National: GBR JK.1700

Mapcode Global: VH876.PCPS

Entry Name: Medieval House Sites W of Trellech Church

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 304

Cadw Legacy ID: MM194

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Shrunken Medieval Village

Period: Medieval

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Trellech United (Tryleg Unedig)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of earthworks, platforms and building footings, forming part of the medieval town of Trellech. Trellech was founded in the 1240s by the powerful de Clare family whose intention seems to have been to create a centre for industry, specifically iron-working. By the 1280s the town was at its peak, with 378 burgages recorded, making it one of the largest towns in Wales at this time. By the 1320s, however, the town had entered a period of rapid decline, prompted by a fire in 1295 that destroyed 102 burgages, the plague and the loss of the de Clare family whose male heirs had been killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. In the 14th century occupation of the town continued, but without the de Clares the economic focus shifted away from iron-production and it ceased to be the urban centre that it was in its heyday. The scheduled area is located immediately W of the churchyard in a field of permanent pasture which slopes down towards the W. It consists of a area of well-preserved house platforms and boundaries and a hollow way. The hollow way is orientated N/S and represents the former line of the main road running through the town. Geophysical survey undertaken on the site revealed the presence of at least 10 substantial structures and subsequent excavation identified the foundations of three stone buildings in a range fronting the road, which have been dated to around 1250. One of these structures was found to contain a stair base and had putlog hoes in the walls demonstrating that it was a two-storey building. Artefacts from the structures comprised pot sherds from glazed jugs and cooking vessels, stone pot lids, small knife blades and 4 keys, and have been interpreted as having derived from a tavern or pilgrim's hostel. The excavation has demonstrated that significant and substantial archaeological remains are preserved within the scheduled area.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval settlement. The monument forms an important element within the wider medieval context and the scheduled area may be expected to contain a wide range of archaeological information, including chronological detail and evidence in regard to construction techniques and agricultural methods.

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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