CPAT Regional Historic Environment Record
The following information is from the on-line database 'Archwilio'.
Use the icons in the sources section below to download further digital information.

Mathrafal Castle, motte and bailey

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 50455
Trust : Clwyd Powys
Community : Llangyniew
Unitary authority : Powys
NGR : SJ13171079
Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Motte and bailey
Status : scheduled monument

Description :
Sub-rectangular motte c25m SW-NE by 30m wide and up to 7m high with the possible remains of the single rampart of a small bailey enclosing an area of about 30m by 40m adjoining its south-western side, the whole in turn lying within the north-east corner of a larger rhombic enclosure c90m NE-SW by 80m defended on all sides except part of south-east side (where it abutts adjacent river) by a single bank and outer ditch with a single entrance in each side. Traces of building foundations apparent in outer enclosure (see OS 1972) are most probably associated with post medieval farmstead (see Arnold, C J & Huggett, J W, 1986).

It has been postulated that the outer enclosure represents a Dark Age settlement while the motte and bailey are later features (see Arnold, C J & Huggett, J W, 1986).

The castle is first documented in 1212 and disappears from historical records during the 15th century.

Partial excavation 1985 produced only medieval and post medieval finds (Arnold, C J & Huggett, J W, 1986).

Excavation 1985: motte ditch revetted by stone wall. Bailey levelled up with clay dumps below which were layers of burning (C14 date 700+/-60BP). No dating evidence for outer enclosure (Youngs, S M, Clark, J and Barr, T 1986, 198).

Survey and geophysical survey (1988) with processing by IBM (UK) suggest that relationship between outer enclosure and the motte is ambiguous (Arnold, C J, Huggett, J W, Reilly, P and Springham, C 1988, 73).

Excavation 1989: examined the outer enclosure of the castle and demonstrated that the earlier date is in the 13th century. The outer enclosure was probably that of a manorial enclosure dated after cAD1200 and before cAD 1400 (Arnold, C J and Huggett, J W 1995, 59-74).

Sources :
Anon , 1873 , title unknown - Mathrafal Castle, motte and bailey
Anon , 1912 , title unknown - Mathrafal Castle, motte and bailey
Arnold, C J & Huggett, J W , 1986 , Mathrafal Powys: A Reassessment , The Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies : 33 : 436-51
Arnold, C J & Huggett, J W , 1995 , Excavations at Mathrafal, Powys, 1989 , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 83 : 59-74
Arnold, C J, Huggett, J W, Reilly, P & Springham, C , 1988 , Mathrafal, Meifod , Archaeology in Wales : 28 : 73
Cadw , 1986 , Scheduling map - Mg044(POW)
Clancy, J P , 1970 , The Earliest Welsh Poetry
Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust , 1978 , Site visit record - PRN50455
Collingwood, R G & Taylor, M V , 1931 , Roman Britain In 1930: Wales Mont. Mathrafal , Journal of Roman Studies : XXI : 215
Davies, A S , 1932 , Excavations At Mathrafal , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 42 : 150-3
Davies, A S , 1937 , Notes On The Roman Coins From Montgomershire , The Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies : 8 : 99-100
Fenton, R , 1917 , Tours in Wales 1902-13
Gleanor , 1846 , Sir John Oldcastle , Archaeologia Cambrensis : 1 : 47
Hoare, R C , 1804 , title unknown - Mathrafal Castle
Jones, H L , 1849 , title unknown - Mathrafal Castle , Archaeological Journal : 6 : 399
Jones, M C , 1868 , The Feudal Barons Of Powys , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 1 : 257-301
Jones, O, Williams, E & Pughe, W O , 1870 , The Myvyrian Archaeology Of Wales
Jones, T , 1952 , Brut Y Twysogyon (Peniarth MS 20 version)
Jones, T , 1955 , Brut Y Twysogyon (Red Book Of Hergest Version)
Lewis, S , 1802 , title unknown - Mathrafal Castle, motte and bailey
Lloyd, J E , 1911 , History of Wales
Lloyd, J E , 1936 , Mathrafal , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 44 : 44-6
Lloyd, J E & Gardner, W , 1923 , Mathrafal , Archaeologia Cambrensis : 78 : 453-5
Ordnance Survey , 1972 , OS record card SJ11SW 3
Powel, D , 1584 , Historie Of Cambria
Pryce, F N , 1930 , The Tiles Of Mathrafal , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 41 : 161-3
Rhys, J , 1883 , Tours In Wales By Thomas Pennant
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Monmouthshire , 1911 , Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of the County of Montgomery ( © CPAT)
Sandford, G , 1871 , Historic Spots II: Mathrafal , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 4 : 40-8
Smith, L T , 1906 , title unknown - Mathrafal Castle, 'Roman ocupation'
Spurgeon, C J , 1966 , The castles of Montgomeryshire , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 58 : 1-59
Welsh Office Ancient Monuments Branch , 1974 , Schedule of Ancient Monuments in Wales
Welsh Office Ancient Monuments Branch , 1980 , Scheduling map - Mg044(POW)
Welsh Office Ancient Monuments Branch , 1981 , Schedule of Ancient Monuments in Wales
Williams, R , 1888 , Royal visits to Montgomeryshire , The Montgomeryshire Collections : 22 : 111-16
Williams-Wynn, W , 1879 , History of the Parish of Llynegryn , Archaeologia Cambrensis : 10 : 327-8, 453
Youngs, S M, Clark, J & Barry, T , 1986 , Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1985 , Medieval Archaeology : 30 : 114-198

Events :
35043 : Mathrafal Castle, excavation 1985 (year : 1985)
35041 : Mathrafal Castle, excavation 1930 (year : 1930)
35042 : Mathrafal Castle, excavation 1929 (year : 1929)
35039 : Mathrafal Castle, excavation 1840 (year : 1840)
35040 : Mathrafal Castle, excavation 1870 (year : 1870)

Related PRNs : 69

Compiled date : 31-12-1980


Archaeological data, from the Historic Environment Record, supplied by The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust in partnership with Local Authorities, Cadw and the partners of ENDEX © CPAT, 2018 (and in part © Crown, 2018). It is intended to be used for private research only and is not for use as part of commercial projects. If you wish to use this information for publication in printed or multimedia form or to compile resources for commercial use, prior permission must be obtained in writing. Use of this information is subject to the terms and conditions of access to HER data published on CPAT's website. Please contact the HER if you have any further questions regarding this information. Please quote the Primary Reference Numbers (PRNs) in any correspondence.

November 18, 2018, 4:20 pm - File produced for Archwilio from CPAT's Regional HER.
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, Curatorial Section, 41 Broad Street, Welshpool, Powys SY21 7RR.
tel (01938) 553670, fax (01938) 552179, website www.cpat.org.uk

Comment on this record?       Privacy and cookies