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Caer Beris Motte

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Llangantan; Llanganten

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO02965070
Latitude 52.14605° Longitude -3.41945°

Caer Beris Motte has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A mound, 42m in diameter and 7.0m high, 20m in diameter at the summit, resting on river cliffs above the Irfon. There are remains of a ditch away from the river front, whilst the summit hollow has been thought to mask masonry remains. (Coflein)

Caer Beris seems to represent the first castle in the cantref of Buellt, probably built by Philip Braose in 1093. In 1098-1102 the archbishop of Canterbury instructed him to return to the bishop of St David's those lands he had wrongfully occupied. This almost certainly refers to Philip's encroachments in Buellt. The castle then seems to have remained in quiet occupation by the Braose family for almost a century. During this time it seems likely, judging from the pit and rubble seen on the motte-top, that the castle was refortified in stone. In 1168 the Lord Rhys invaded Brycheiniog and destroyed the castle. From this time forth it was out of Braose hands. The castle seems never to have recovered and was replaced by Builth Wells. (Paul Remfry)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). The motte is roughly circular in plan, around 40m in diameter with steep sides. It is situated in a sharp bend of the river Irfon. The summit is hollowed, with some banking around the outer edge. Masonry identified during excavations on the summit may be the remains of a shell keep. The motte would have been surrounded by a ditch, only visible on the east side, and the bailey may have been to the east where possible banks survive. (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 20/04/2017 04:46:18