Ancient Monuments

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Tomen y Bala Castle Mound

A Scheduled Monument in Bala (Y Bala), Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.9115 / 52°54'41"N

Longitude: -3.5955 / 3°35'43"W

OS Eastings: 292804

OS Northings: 336093

OS Grid: SH928360

Mapcode National: GBR 6D.NP2D

Mapcode Global: WH675.R21S

Entry Name: Tomen y Bala Castle Mound

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 283

Cadw Legacy ID: ME016

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Motte

Period: Medieval

County: Gwynedd

Community: Bala (Y Bala)

Built-Up Area: Bala

Traditional County: Merionethshire


The monument comprises the remains of a motte dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. Here the evidence for a surrounding ditch and bailey if the later existed have been lost beneath the town of Bala’s subsequent development of this area. The motte is 40m in diameter and 8.0m high, with a level summit c16.5m across. The castle can be associated with a manor or llys, a princely court of Penllyn commote. Its conquest is recorded in 1202 and it may have remained active into the thirteenth century. Edward I was present at Bala in 1284. In about 1310 a borough was laid out south-west of the motte though by the early fifteenth century a garrison was present in the town with no mention of the castle.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval settlement and defence. 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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