Scheduled Monuments- Full Report

Summary Description of a Scheduled Monument

Reference Number
Castell Gwallter  
Date of Designation


Unitary Authority
Geneu'r Glyn  

Broad Class
Site Type


Summary Description and Reason for Designation
The following provides a general description of the Scheduled Ancient Monument. 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 at Castell Gwallter is a circular flat-topped mound with fine views particularly to the east, 32-33m in diameter and about 4.5m high, surrounded by a U-shaped ditch 8m wide with a counterscarp bank outside that, standing 4-5m above the ditch bottom and c.1m above the surrounding ground surface. The motte would have been crowned by a great timber tower, with a strong breastwork on the counterscarp. A small bailey or court, c.38m north-south by 28m, defined by a bank up to c.1.5m high with traces of an external ditch, lies on the north side, and would have been the site of the lordly hall and associated offices. There are indications of a much larger court on the east side of the motte. This is roughly rectangular with rounded corners, roughly 80-100m east-west by 126-135m, and is defined largely by scarps. Such a large enclosure would suit the dignity of the main castle of a lordship and would have accommodated assemblies of lesser lords. The castle was established by the Anglo-Normans in about 1110 and was the centre for the lordship of Geneu’r-glyn commote. It was destroyed in 1135 and is last heard of in 1153. It may have been replaced by Domen Las, the castle of Abereinion (SAM CD100). The castle lies some 50m south-west of St Michael’s Church and the two may have been contemporary. 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.  

Cadw : Scheduled Monuments- Full Report [ Records 1 of 1 ]