Ancient Monuments

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Porthamel Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Gwernyfed, Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0088 / 52°0'31"N

Longitude: -3.2259 / 3°13'33"W

OS Eastings: 315954

OS Northings: 235191

OS Grid: SO159351

Mapcode National: GBR YX.HLGF

Mapcode Global: VH6BP.1RGY

Entry Name: Porthamel Tower

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1715

Cadw Legacy ID: BR047

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Tower

Period: Medieval

County: Powys

Community: Gwernyfed

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

Description

The monument consists of a tower erected in 1536, possibly a gate tower of a small mansion. It is a square, red sandstone, two storey tower complete up to its battlements. Most of the mouldings of the doors, windows and battlements are still in place. It is approximately 8m in height. The entrance, running east - west, is approximately 3m in height, with pointed archways at both ends. On the east side the arch has a moulded stone surround with decorated stops and the entrance is closed by wooden gates. On the west side the arch is plain with simple moulding and no decoration.

Inside there is a cobbled floor. The walls are smooth stone and the ceiling is a four-ribbed vault. There is a small door on the north side which leads to stairs to the room above. Above the entrance on the east side is a two-light window with drip moulding above and decorated stops.

A string course running round the wall has the stumps of two gargoyles in it. On the west side there is also a window above the archway, similar to the archway in that it is unadorned. Above is a moulded string course below the battlements with one gargoyle at the north end and the stub of one at the south end.

The south side is featureless. In the centre of the lower part of the wall is an area of unevenness where a wall running southwards from the tower was originally attached. This feature is repeated on the north side. On the north side there is a small doorway c 2.5 m up the wall, with a surround of dressed stone. There is a narrow slit window above and slightly to its east. The battlements on this side step up two steps at the north-east corner.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of construction techniques. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. 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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