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Latitude: 52.8249 / 52°49'29"N
Longitude: -3.1805 / 3°10'49"W
OS Eastings: 320549
OS Northings: 325911
OS Grid: SJ205259
Mapcode National: GBR 6Y.V1WX
Mapcode Global: WH78X.38Q7
Entry Name: Sycharth Mound and Bailey Castle
Source ID: 3668
Cadw Legacy ID: DE020
Schedule Class: Defence
Category: Motte & Bailey
Traditional County: Denbighshire
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.
The motte and bailey at Sycharth occupies a low knoll in the base of the Cynllaith valley, below its steep wooded slopes. It consists of a large ditched, earthen motte, c.50m in diameter and 10.6m high. The summit is 26m in diameter. The bailey platform is crescentic in form, measuring 64m across and 32m deep on the southwest side. The castle may be as early as the twelfth century, but direct evidence is lacking. It was obliquely described in a poem of about 1390 and was burnt in 1403, having no further history. Excavations of a small part of the motte top in 1962-3 only uncovered evidence for two timber framed buildings, part of what the 1390 poem describes as 'a fine wooden house atop a green hill'. Further buildings, including a great lordly hall, would have stood within the bailey. The poem mentions a mill (NPRN 308885), fishponds, a warren and a deerpark containing a lodge.
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 scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.
Other nearby scheduled monuments