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Blaenau 'Tower'

In the community of Llywel.
In the historic county of Brecknockshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN84861965
Latitude 51.86333° Longitude -3.67354°

Blaenau 'Tower' has been described as a Uncertain although is doubtful that it was such.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Ruined tower some 5m diameter and now 2m high with attached building adjacent house site and enclosure (CPAT site visit, 1981). No further details. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

A sheepfold, marked on the Ordnance Survey 1:10000 sheet, is located on the northeast side of Nant Coedcae. Subdivided, and of large stone construction, it measures 35m across, northwest to southeast, by 25m, with walls averaging 1m thick and 1.2m high, rising to 2.5m high on the southwest side. Banks to the immediate northwest of the fold and on its southern edge suggest that it was built on earlier foundations, perhaps connected with house platforms a short distance to the north (nprn 84354). Further banks project from the north corner of the fold towards the area of the platforms. (Coflein)

The monument consists of the remains of a deserted rural settlement, probably dating to the post-medieval period. The site comprises a group of platforms scooped/built up out of the hillside, several of which display remains of rubble-built buildings or structures, covering and area measuring roughly 350m N/S by 80m E/W. The platforms lie either side of a deeply engorged stream which flows NW/SE to the Tawe, between 340m and 370m AOD. The site is dissected by two tracks which probably post-date the use of the settlement. To the SW of the stream lie three platforms, a possible platform and a cairn, together with a substantial stone-built sheepfold, probably of more recent date, while to the NE of the stream lie a further seven definite platforms, one with a structure on it, one possible platform and three vague platforms, together with two lengths of revetment bank and three possible clearance cairns. (Scheduling Report)

Sceduled as (part of) a deserted rural settlement. The CPAT description suggests a round tower of ?medieval date. Has a medieval tower standing 2m high really been missed by earlier surveys and the usual castle studies authorities (DJC King certainly knew the area well)? Probably, in fact, the Coflein record of a sheepfold is more accurate and the CPAT site visit resulted in some rather fanciful speculation, however there are sheepfolds in the Scottish borders which may well be much ruined and reconstructed small towers or pele-houses.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:21:59