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Cae Burdydd Castle, Vaynor

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Faenor; Vaenor

In the community of Vaynor.
In the historic county of Brecknockshire.
Modern authority of Merthyr Tydfil.
Preserved county of Mid Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO04741020
Latitude 51.78237° Longitude -3.38208°

Cae Burdydd Castle, Vaynor has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Small motte on the edge of a steep drop to the gorge, showing traces of a surrounding ditch. No signs of a bailey. The motte & ditch are barely traceable. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)
A ditched, scarp-edge mound, c.23m in diameter and c.3.0m high. Interpreted as a castle motte, whilst reports of a "tumulus" in the vicinity, opened in 1823, revealing a possible charnel pit, may suggest otherwise (source Os495card; SO01SW6). (Coflein ref.–J.Wiles 24.07.02)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, 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. The motte is 23m in diameter and 3m high with a steep drop to river on the east side. The top of the motte is 7m in diameter and concave in shape, with a slight horseshoe shaped bank on the landward side. The ditch is approximately 4m wide. There is no trace of a bailey. (Scheduling Report)

Also suggested as the collapsed relics of destroyed round tower, which, given the very poor mortar in this part of Wales is possible and would require good excavation to show otherwise. Close to the parish church and an entirely possible location for a manorial centre dressed up with some martial features, like a motte or tower.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:23:47