Ancient Monuments

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Old Castle Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopston (Llandeilo Ferwallt), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.591 / 51°35'27"N

Longitude: -4.0484 / 4°2'54"W

OS Eastings: 258200

OS Northings: 190009

OS Grid: SS582900

Mapcode National: GBR GW.FN82

Mapcode Global: VH4KF.S85N

Entry Name: Old Castle Camp

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3750

Cadw Legacy ID: GM154

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Ringwork

Period: Medieval

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Bishopston (Llandeilo Ferwallt)

Built-Up Area: Murton

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a ringwork dating to the medieval period (AD 1066-1485). It is situated on the crest of the southern side of a ravine above Bishopston Brook. The earthworks are of pen-annular shape and consist of a bank set against the natural scarp which defends a modestly raised oval interior, approximately 22m long from north-east to south-west by 15m. The flat-topped bank has no original gap for an entrance; that to the south probably marking one of the excavations cut in 1898. To the west of this narrow gap are traces of an internal stone revetment, probably related to those excavations, for no such feature was recorded. There is an internal ditch.

Excavations undertaken here in 1898 by Lt. Col. W. Morgan discovered that the outer ditch had a v-shaped profile, originally up to 2.5m deep. In the body of the rampart, below its flat top, two rows of post-sockets were identified. These were 1.83m apart, and the front line had consisted of posts between 64mm and 114mm in diameter and averaging 300mm apart. The rear line of posts was less regular. A step halfway up the counterscarp of the ditch may have carried another row of stakes. The interior had been artificially raised to between 450mm and 600mm above the old ground surface. No structures were identified in the interior, but finds included a bronze buckle, the soles of leather shoes and pot-sherds of late 12th or early 13th century date.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive organisation. The 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 scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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