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Twmpan Motte, Llangors

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Tymaur Motte; Llangasty Tal y Llyn; Llangasty Talyllyn Twmpan

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO12562568
Latitude 51.92277° Longitude -3.27265°

Twmpan Motte, Llangors has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The Motte at Twmpan is a sub-circular steep-sided, flat-topped mound, showing faint traces of a ditch, thought to represent a medieval castle mound, crowning a slight spur on generally north-east facing slopes, overlooking Llangorse Lake; the mound is about 28.5m north to south by 15.5m and c.4.0m high, having a summit area some 11.5-13m, across. (Coflein)

Steep sided motte c4m high with flat sub-rectangular top (22m by 15m). Base measures c27m by 22m. Faint traces of ditch in north-east and south-east. Wrongtly noted as tumulus by OS 1964. A small pit dug about 7ft deep in the top, seen in 1954, revealed centre and bulk of mound to be composed of a loose mass of red sandstone in small slabs, mostly piled on edge. The outer side of the mound was entirely composed of red sandstone clay. Flat sub-rectangular summit still shows evidence of King's excavations. (OS Record card) Excavated by D J C King in 1954. Quern fragment found at site in 1980 (CPAT archive 1982). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Added 06/01/2019 - Cathcart King did not excavate the site as stated here & elsewhere. In Brycheiniog article, he says he visited & found an existing pit dug in summit. Between Brecon & Blaenllynfi so a lakeside Braose fowling lodge? -Simon Forder
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, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. The motte is a steep-sided circular mound 3.5m high on the north side, 2.5m high on the south side with a flat summit 12m in diameter. There is no evidence for a ditch surrounding the motte, or for an outer bailey. A small-scale excavation carried out in the 1950s revealed the structure of the mound to be a core of slabs of sandstone covered by a layer of clay. (Scheduling Report)


Remfry and Salter suggest this may be remains of a freestanding round masonry tower.
Llangors–Court of William le Breos in 1197 (BT). Perhaps = Llangasty Tal y llyn (King and Hogg). Actually the Brut y Tywysogion does not say William had a court at Llangors just that "Trahaiarn the Little of Brecheiniog, ... was seized, when he was passing through Llangors (on the way?) to the court of William Bruse"
The site is quite isolated, Llangasty-talyllyn is a nearer church than Llangors which is 2km away on the other side of a lake. Nothing, other than the mound itself, suggest high status residence. King was an intelligent man with a profound interest in castles but not a professional archaeologist. Is this really a motte? Is it in medieval Llangors? What, other than King's interest in medieval welsh castles and this site in particular, is there to suggest this as the site of the recorded court of William le Breos (or that that court was fortified with a motte).
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This record last updated 05/07/2016 17:43:10