Ancient Monuments

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St Clears Mound and Bailey Castle

A Scheduled Monument in St. Clears (Sanclêr), Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

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Latitude: 51.8107 / 51°48'38"N

Longitude: -4.4949 / 4°29'41"W

OS Eastings: 228105

OS Northings: 215393

OS Grid: SN281153

Mapcode National: GBR D6.X3QL

Mapcode Global: VH3LL.1RK9

Entry Name: St Clears Mound and Bailey Castle

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1950

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2773

Cadw Legacy ID: CM095

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte & Bailey

Period: Medieval

County: Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

Community: St. Clears (Sanclêr)

Built-Up Area: St Clears

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. Also known as Banc y Beili, the monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle built during the late 11th century. It is located at the confluence of the Rivers Taf and Cynin. The earthen motte is substantial and well preserved. It measures 8m tall. It is oval in shape on plan and measures c. 37m N-S by 46m E-W. The level platform on top of the motte measures c. 10m N-S by 20m E-W and may have supported a masonry structure. The large bailey is roughly rectangular in shape and extends to the S of the motte. It measures c. 75m N-S by 85m E-W. The ditch around the motte and the bank and the ditch around the bailey have been rendered inconspicuous by modern soil movement.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive organisation. The well-preserved monument forms an important element within the wider medieval context and the structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information relating to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is an irregular polygon in shape on plan and measures c. 135m N-S by 100m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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