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Troed yr Harn Motte

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ty'n y Caeau; Ty'n y Caernau; Alexanderstone Motte

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO07012948
Latitude 51.95600° Longitude -3.35480°

Troed yr Harn Motte has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a Siege Work although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Very feeble motte in a very boggy field in the bottom of a valley full of brooks. It is not very clear what useful function it could play; it is exceptional small, and not the least useful for observation purposes. There was no bailey; the ditch of the motte has silted up. When the valley in its natural state it cannot have been at all easy to access. (King)

A circular, possibly ditched mound, c.20m in diameter and c1.5m high, set in marshy ground by a stream. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a Motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A Motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, originally surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. The Castle Mound is circular in plan, around 18m in diameter and 2m high with a flat summit approximately 12m in diameter. On the western side of the mound are the faint traces of a ditch, but this is not visible around the whole circumference of the Motte. There are no traces of a bailey or of structures on the summit of the monument. (Scheduling Report)

Remfry suggest a possible siege work of the early 1270's.
Close to road but isolated from settlement. Does not seem to have a name (the given names all relate to nearby, but distinct, places). Not only would access be difficult but construction, even of a small mound, would have required considerable effort and an exceptionally dry season unless this was a natural glacial mound. If it is a natural glacial mound then was it actually ever used as a motte? Would this mound have been identified as a motte if it were not in the Welsh marches?
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:42:38