The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
Trust Historic Environment Record
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CASTELL BOLAN (CWM GLAIS)
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 00673w Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Cwmavon Unitary authority : Neath Port Talbot NGR : SS76799202 Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Motte Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : It is a castle mound at 124m above O.D., on the top of a spur. A ditch surrounds the mound but doesn't appear on the E. Its base is oval and regular, 26m by 28m, but its upper part is different and rises towards the S.E. to become a D-shaped summit.
Description : Castell Bolan is a castle mound at 124m above O.D., occupying the top of a spur, on the N. flank of Mynydd Dinas. A ditch surrounds the mound (AM7) but is not present on the eastern side (OS). It is possible that the castle, with Plas Baglan on the north, and the Iron Age Hillfort of Pen-y-castle to the south, are the three castle recorded in this vicinity by Edwards Lhuyd as "Castel y Wiryones", "y Castell" and "Ben y Castell". Castell Bolan is spread over the full width of the N.W extremity of the spur, with steep natural falls to the W., N.W. and N.E sides. Its base is oval and regular, 26m by 28m, but its upper part is different and rises towards the S.E. to become a D-shaped summit. There it measures 6m by 7m and has a central depression 1m deep. At a lower level on the North side, on the half of the slope, is a curving bank with regular appearance. It contains a confined lunate shelf. This site may certainly be a castle of the 12-century Welsh lords of Afan, or one of their followers. Although, if is a Welsh castle, it clearly imitates the Norman motte. There is no certain historical record of the site, though it has been suggested that it might have been belonged to Morgan Gam and that there Herbert Fitzmatthew was slain by the Welsh in 1245 (RCAHM 1991, 143-145).
01/pm desc text/RCAHM//1991/Invent IV 1a/UW 3
RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of The Ancient Monuments In Glamorgan, II, 1a, UW 3, pp.143-145., fig.99.
OS card text
CADW, SAM Visit Description Text, 2006