Ancient Monuments

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Medieval Tower at Hanbury Arms

A Scheduled Monument in Caerleon (Caerllion), Newport (Casnewydd)

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Latitude: 51.6083 / 51°36'29"N

Longitude: -2.9521 / 2°57'7"W

OS Eastings: 334166

OS Northings: 190371

OS Grid: ST341903

Mapcode National: GBR J7.9XVG

Mapcode Global: VH7B6.ST7Y

Entry Name: Medieval Tower at Hanbury Arms

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2967

Cadw Legacy ID: MM037

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Tower

Period: Medieval

County: Newport (Casnewydd)

Community: Caerleon (Caerllion)

Built-Up Area: Caerleon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of a tower of medieval date formerly capping the south-eastern corner of the bailey of Caerleon Castle, immediately above the western bank of the Usk and a former defended quay. It is circular and constructed of roughly squared sandstone rubble blocks, much patched with brick and other materials and rises a single storey above an originally unlit basement and damaged battered plinth to a height of 4.5m. It is possible that a further upper floor has been lost. Facing along the former curtain walls on the upper floor are distinctive tall, narrow splayed arrow loops with squared basal oillets, all with imported yellowish Dundry limestone dressings. These are likely to date from the remodelling of the castle in the opening decades of the 13th century by the younger William Marshal. A larger rectangular opening, now headless, was inserted on the upper floor facing the river at a later date. Offset from this and driven through the base of the tower to the quay is a now blocked segmental headed doorway. This was accessed from the floor above by a curving mural stair hacked into the tower wall and lined with brick, the inner skin of which has collapsed into the basement room. Both of these features are likely to be associated with 17th or 18th century incorporation of the tower into the south west corner of the 16th century and later Hanbury Arms. A featureless stub of curtain wall extends to the west on the same alignment as other (unscheduled) sections suspected behind the houses of High Street.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval military architecture. It forms the principal surviving masonry of one of the largest and most important early castles in the region, and shares group value and the form of its distinctive arrow loops with several contemporary Marshall castles in south-east Wales (Chepstow, Usk). The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

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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