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Site Details

NPRN 303590

Map Reference SN68SE

Grid Reference SN6531982430

Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion

Old County Cardiganshire

Community Trefeurig

Type of Site MOTTE

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Medieval

Site Description NAR SN68SE1

A medieval castle mound identified with the 'Stradpeithyll' mentioned in the Chronicle of the Princes' - the Brut-y-Tywysogion.
This is a steep, sometimes vertically sided mound or drum, some 20m in diameter and 3.6m high, carved from the west end of a spur above a stream confluence in a valley bottom, the Ystrad Peithyll. The level summit is some 12.5m across, but has been damaged by what looks like a robber pit - the mound was traditionally identified as a burial mound. A great flat-bottomed ditch surrounds the mound, 4.0-6.0m across the base and up to 15m wide between the summit of the mound and the far eastern lip of the ditch. Elsewhere there appears to have been a counterscarp bank above the lower ground.
The mound, whose summit is slightly lower than the eastern lip of the ditch, would have been topped by a tall timber-framed tower. The house probably lay in the area between the mound and the stream confluence, where slight terraces suggest the presence of buildings.
The castle would have been built in the years following Henry I's grant of Ceredigion to Gilbert fitz Richard in 1110. In 1113 it was the seat of Razo or Razon the steward. The chronicle relates that the castle was assualted and overpowered by an influx of Welsh princes, who then burnt it after killing many of the people within. The castle has no further recorded history.

Sources: King in Ceredigion III (1956), 65-6
Thorburn in Archaeology in Wales 27 (1987), 55

John Wiles 29.08.07

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