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Llanddew Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Llanthew Castle; Lannedeu

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO05543079
Latitude 51.96778° Longitude -3.37675°

Llanddew Palace has been described as a certain Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Palace.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Residence of the Bishop of St Davids, also site of Archdeacon of Brecon's residence from at least the later 12th century; ruinous by early 16th century: an irregular quadrilateral, about 90m north-east to south-west by 85m, bounded by a stretch of ditch, or moat on the north-east, elsewhere the remains of a wall about the south-western & part of the north-west side; there are remains of substantial masonry buildings on the north-west, including a possible hall block, about 18m north-east to south-west by 12m; towards the centre of the south-west front is a projecting bastion adjoining 'Bishop Gower's Well': recent clearance work on the hall block (Jones 2004 (AW 43 (2003), 145) revealed that the hall was set over a vaulted basement, 15m by 7.0m. (Coflein)

Masonry castle remains comprising rectangular ward with partial curtain having a door at south corner and a half round tower on the south-west. The whole being c80m NE-SW by 40m wide. Rectangular building 10.7m by 20m within.
Reputedly the remains of the Bishop's Palace of Llanddew.
Well set in wall (said to be c.1340) and known as Bishop Gower's well.
Parish pump dated to 1908.
Scheduled area extended 1997 to cover the earthwork defences on the eastern side and house platforms on the south (Cadw 1997).
In private ownership, said to be home in the 12th century of Giraldus Cambrensis when he was archdeacon of Brecon. Much altered. Standing remains presumably date to 13th and 14th centuries (Cadw, 2002, pp27).
Application for grant aid approved by Cadw in 2003 for archaeological evaluation and consolidation works. (Cadw, 2003). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Just NW of The Old Vicarage N of the crossroads in the centre of the village.
Ruin of the C13 hall of a medieval residence of the Bishops of St Davids recorded from the C12. Llanddew Castle was occupied in the C12 by Giraldus Cambrensis, as Archdeacon of Brecon 1175-1203. He called it 'a small residence. .... well adapted to literary pursuits and the contemplation of eternity'. Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury stayed at Llanddew on his tour of Wales with Giraldus in 1188. The castle was derelict by the C16. Sold in the 1650s, but returned to the see of St Davids after the Restoration. In the 1741 Buck engraving the front wall, now entirely gone is shown standing and much more survived of the back wall. Restored in 2003 when a cushion shaped corbel was found in the top corner.
Ruins of a medieval hall, rubble stone thick walls on three sides, front wall gone. Walls are thicker at base with ledge to support beams of former basement ceiling. No evidence of former stone vaulting. High surviving end walls and one end of rear wall which otherwise survives to just above basement height. Right end wall has remains of big pointed end window with splayed reveals. Left end wall has external put-log holes a splayed loop to basement right. Rear wall has crease lines of former gabled external porch, of which some projecting stones survive each side of elliptical-arched door with stone voussoirs. Basement has base of a fireplace projection on inside rear wall. (Listed Building Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 28/06/2017 18:13:04