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TALLEY MOUND - CASTLE EARTHWORKS

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 303898

Map Reference SN63SW

Grid Reference SN6313033373

Unitary (Local) Authority Carmarthenshire

Old County Carmarthenshire

Community Talley

Type of Site MOTTE AND BAILEY

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Medieval

Site Description NAR SN63SW2

The earthworks of a medieval castle occupy the isthmus between the two Talley Lakes and face across the Upper Lake to the ruins of Talley Abbey, 0.5km to the south (NPRN 92750). By the time of the OS County series 1st edition (Carmarthen. XXV.4 1888) the castle site had been planted with conifers to serve as an ornamental tree clump.
The earthworks occupy a roughly oval 0.5m high platform, about 82m east-west by 56m. At the centre rises a circular MOTTE or castle mound, 30m in diameter and some 4.0m high. Ditches separate the mound from a crescentic bailey enclosure on the east side and a smaller outwork on the west. The mound would originally have carried a timber framed tower, the centrepiece of the castle, and the bailey would have enclosed a lordly hall and other offices.
The castle has no known history, however, it was probably the centre of a great estate or lordship, possibly extending across Caio commote. Although the pairing of castle and Abbey across the Upper Lake seems deliberate, it is likely that the castle fell out of use with the foundation of the Abbey in 1184-9, when its lands are likely to have been transferred.

John Wiles 29.01.08

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