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 

Talgarth 'Castle'

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO155337
Latitude 51.99636° Longitude -3.22902°

Talgarth 'Castle' has been described as a Uncertain although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


Mentioned in a charter of Roger, Earl of Hereford, not later than 1156. A 13th-century tower on a small motte is still standing, and can be seen from the railway between Brecon and Hereford. (Armitage)

In addition Rickard cites two references to Hugh le Despenser as constable of Talgarth in 1322. This does no seem to be Bwlch-y Ddinas, where Griffin ap Rees was Constable, nor, at this relatively late date, the various earthworks in Talgarth. The 1854 article cited by Armitage is an English translation and does not give the original Latin, the phrases used is 'he gives the priory the tithes of all his corn (in sheaf), to be taken at the doors of his grange at the castles of Brecknock, Talgarth, and the Hay.' This is clearly taken from Dugdale where the original Latin is given as 'ad hostia grangiarum apud castellum de Brechonia et apud Talgar et Hayam' which could well be translated as 'the door of the granges at the castle of Brecon and at Talgarth and Hay'. The use of the term castle to describe towns is not unknown in medieval documents but is unusual but in this case a different interpretation of the Latin does not suggest a castle of any form anyway. The Close Roll entry of 1322 is an order to deliver various castles, manors and lands to Hugh le Despenser but the associated orders to deliver goods does not call Talgarth a castle, unlike the other castles listed.
The Tower, whilst too small to be considered a castle of itself, might be the C14 constables dwelling and office. Whilst there is no evidence a 'motte' under the Talgarth Tower this does not exclude the existence of any earlier building (presumably of timber) on this spot and serving a similar function as the town constable deputy's residence and offices. Earl Roger's 'castle' (if the documentary evidence actually substantiates that term) of Talgarth might be one of the nearby earthworks outside the town. There is no physical evidence of a castle, in the sense of a fortified residence of a magnate, in Talgarth and the historical evidence if anything seems to make clear there was not something medieval writers felt they could call a castle at Talgarth.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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 before 1 February 2016