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Trecastle Motte

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Tump, Trecastle; Trecastle Castle; Castell Trecastell

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SN88242912
Latitude 51.94944° Longitude -3.62710°

Trecastle Motte has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A large motte and bailey earthwork castle, set on a commanding position above the village. The motte is a steep-sided, flat-topped mound, oval in plan, 50m by 38m overall and 6.6m high. The summit is about 24m by 16m. The bailey, on the south-west side of the motte, was at least 56m by 40m. Its southern side is obscured by the modern road. Both motte and bailey were ditched and counterscarped. Similar earthwork castles in Wales date to the twelfth century, or the earlier part of the thirteenth century. The absence of any visible stonework suggests that the castle did not retain its importance beyond that period. (Coflein)

This is the best preserved motte and bailey castle in Breconshire. An oval tree-clad motte 6m high occupied the east half of a bailey platform 115m long by 45m wide. Circumstantial evidence suggests the castle was built by Bernard de Newmarch c1095 and fell to a Welsh attack sometime between 1121 and 1136. It was probably then abandoned although possibly rebuilt in the 1150s by Walter Clifford. (Salter)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. The monument is located at the east end of the village, immediately adjacent to the A40 road. The motte is oval in plan, with a base measuring 26m by 15m, and stands 7m high. The summit is flat, with a large depression towards the southern side. The motte is surrounded by a ditch with a counterscarp on the outer edge. The bailey is located to the west of the motte and measures around 60m E/W. It is surrounded by a bank, 2.7m high, with a counterscarp outside the bank. The southern defences of both motte and bailey have been destroyed by the modern road. (Scheduling Report)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:40:07