The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Coed Caeau, Waun Gunllwch

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Crucadarn; Guan Gunllwch; Crickadarn

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO05924127
Latitude 52.06176° Longitude -3.37391°

Coed Caeau, Waun Gunllwch has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A subcircular enclosure, 40m in diameter, set on the tip of a promontory above steep slopes, defined by a crescentic bank facing level ground, a ditch and counterscarp, with a ESE causewayed entrance. (Coflein)

Considered to be a ringwork by (Savory, H N, 1952; King, D J C & Alcock, L, 1966) though could equally well be a hillfort. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The castle 'half ringwork', as it is described in Castellarium, is indeed a curious structure. ... Sheep digging into the counterscarp have literally unearthed some of the construction of the counterscarp, which may suggest that it was built in two or three sessions. At the lowest point some half way down the ditch the counterscarp was seen to consist of a fine grey clay. Above this is a whiter band of clay which is followed by a reversion to grey. On the very top of the bank it can be seen that there is much angular rubble. The appearance of this rubble only in the top two feet of the counterscarp may be indicative of masonry defences, perhaps a low mantlet wall on the exposed eastern front. (Remfry–online)

The monument consists of the remains of a castle ringwork, dating to the medieval period. The site comprises a sub-circular, univallate, enclosure measuring 85m in diameter. A V-shaped ditch, up to 4m deep encircles the site, with an outer bank, up to 1.25m high, visible around much of the circumference of the monument. A causeway crosses the ditch on the SE side, leading into the interior of the site which comprises a level platform 50m in diameter. The interior is enclosed by high banks to the N and S of the entrance which stand 6m above the base of the ditch and 2m high on the internal side. The northern internal bank extends for around 40 to the NNW, while the southern internal bank only extend for 20m. In the interior of the monument the ground is undulating which may be a result of erosion rather than an indication of internal features. (Scheduling Report)

The location appears isolated from medieval settlement and certainly appears to more that of an Iron Age site although this does not exclude medieval use. Certainly is generally accepted as a medieval ringwork. It is a little unclear what Remfry means by mantlet but the bank may have been revetted or topped with a drystone wall a technique available to both Iron Age and medieval builders. The question here is what was worth building a fortification to protect. An Iron Age farmstead is a distinct possibility, Remfry suggests the religious grange of Gwenddwr. Nothing suggests medieval farmstead. Perhaps this was a pure and simple military encampment, designed to protect the horses and equipment of the soldiers who did, from time to time, try to establish some presence and control in this contested area, although the water supply for the horses needs to be consider in this regard.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, the four welsh archaeological trusts and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain Designated Historic Asset Descriptive Information from The Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown.
Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Lidar coverage in the UK is not complete. The button above will give an idea of the area of coverage. Higher resolution lidar images in both DSM and DTM form may be available from Lle A geo-Portal for Wales (click the preview tag to bring up a map and then select format byclicking on the small blue diamond in the top right corner of the map.)
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.

This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:30:05