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Hen Domen castle, motte and bailey
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 50101 Trust : Clwyd Powys Community : Montgomery Unitary authority : Powys NGR : SO21379803 Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Motte and bailey Status : scheduled monument
Description : Ditched motte some 9.1 metres high with flat diameter 7.3 metres. Summit and bailey approximately 50m metres by 40 metres internally (the two formerly connected by a timber bridge). Whole enclosed by roughly oval ditch some 2.7 metres deep, Excavations by P A Barker 1960 onwards. Castle probably built c 1071 by Roger of Montgomery.
Excavations 1983: Bailey interior building LIII, 5m by 6m (wooden), possible entrance west side. Two sections across inner bailey ditch contained iron nails and other waterlogged finds (Youngs, S M, Clark, J and Barry, TB 1984, 265).
Excavations 1985: Concentrated on rampart of NE sector of the bailey and small length of crest of outer rampart. Rampart: dump of boulder clay with no stratification or finds; possible internal tower foundation; buried soil of Anglo-Saxon(?) date. Crest of rampart: post and stakeholes from former palisade. Gatehouse(?) identified at entrance to bailey. (Youngs, SM, Clark J and Barry T 1986, 197-8).
Excavations 1988-90 concentrated on a new survey of the motte and bailey, completion of excavation of pre-castle levels in the bailey and excavation of upper levels of the motte top. Excavation revealed the pre-conquest soil and a fence line and timber building. The top of the motte has been eroded or deliberately slighted but massive timber slots for the bridge were identified as were the post holes of a large rectangular timber building. (Nenk, B S, Margeson, S & Hurley, M 1991, 237-8).
Excavations in 1991 & 1992 concentrated on the motte. Five phases were identified:- I - A wooden structure c6.09m square, flat bottomed pit in basement: possible cistern. 12th century date. II - Repair of wooden structure and building of new bridge from bailey; late 12th/early 13th century date. III - Structure reduced in size and finally destroyed by fire. Cistern filled in. IV - Final building also square, timber. In use to late 13th century? V - it is suggested that there may have been a later phase the evidence of which has been destroyed by erosion of the motte. (Nenk, B S, Margeson, S & Hurley, M 1993, 312-313).
Geophysical survey was carried out in the bailey of the castle by Stratascan in 1991 (Stratascan, 1991).