Scheduled Monuments- Full Report

Summary Description of a Scheduled Monument

Reference Number
Llanddew Castle  
Date of Designation


Unitary Authority

Broad Class
Site Type


Summary Description and Reason for Designation
The following provides a general description of the Scheduled Ancient Monument. The monument consists of the remains of a castle, dating to the medieval period. The castle at Llanddew belonged to the Bishops of St David's and was built in the 12th century and was also the residence of the Archdeacon of Brecon from at least the late 12th century. The castle's most famous occupant was Giraldus Cambrensis, Archdeacon of Brecon, who lived there between 1175 and 1203 and who described it as 'a small residence well adapted to literary pursuits and the contemplation of eternity'. Little remains of the original castle, with the standing structures thought to be 13th or 14th century in date. The remains comprise two sections of curtain wall with the partial remains of two round towers on the SW and NW side of the rectangular ward, with a stretch of ditch or moat along the NE side. The curtain walls are stone built and survive to a maximum height of 2.5m. At the SE end is an arched entrance at 90 degrees to the line of the curtain wall. Around half way along the curtain wall on the SW side is Bishop Gower's well. This comprises a rectangular recess set into the wall, fronted by a low arch around 1m high, containing a pool of water. The well was built in 1340 and was the main water supply for the village until the 1940s. On the interior of the curtain wall are a set of steps leading down to another arched entrance to the well which would have supplied the castle. Within the castle ward are the remains of a rectangular building with standing walls on three sides. The building measures 11m by 20m and is orientated SW/NE. The walls are stone built and 0.7m thick, surviving to a maximum height of 5m. This building is thought to be a hall block and recent clearance work revealed that it was built over a vaulted cellar. The site was derelict by the mid 17th century and was sold after the Civil War but returned to the see of St David's after the restoration. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive practices. The monument is well-preserved and an important relic of the medieval landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both structural evidence and intact associated deposits. The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.  

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