The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record

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Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 01388g
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Community : Llantilio Crossenny
Unitary authority : Monmouthshire
NGR : SO39581512
Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Moat
Status : Scheduled Monument

Description :
This moated site was occupied in the 13th and 14th century, possibly a manor house belonging to the Bishop of Llandaff who had held land in Llantillio from early times. The story that David Gam, who was killed at Agincourt, lived here is probably not true; but in 15th century his son-in-law William ap Thomas, or the latter's son, William Herbert of Raglan found a deer park here, and it must have continued in use until the destruction of Raglan Castle in the Civil war. The moated site lay in the south west corner of the deer park. During the excavation of the site the robbed foundations of a house, probably built in the 16th century by the Herberts in connection with the deer park, were uncovered - only scanty evidence of the earlier occupation was found (Cadw 1991). The site was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1941 (Archaeologia Cambrensis 1948-9).

Various references to Hen Cwrt, or Hen Gwrt, refer to it as the site of an ancient mansion, being entirely surrounded by a moat, though to have been the residence of Sir David Gam in the reign of Henry V, but by the mid 15th century it had probably been left to ruin (Archaeologia Cambrensis 1857; Shirley 1867; Coxe 1904; Bradney 1907).

Hen Gwrt was the manor house of Llantilio Episcopi, and belonged to the Bishop of Llandaff. In the reign of Henry VI (1422-1461), it was held by Sir William ap Thomas, by lease of the then bishop. His son then joined the lands of this manor with others and created a park for red deer. The property was sold in the mid 19th century to a Colonel Clifford, who cleaned out the moat, but found nothing of consequence within it (Wakeman 1860).

This homestead moat stands on ground about 200 feet above sea-level, and a few feet above the River Trothy. The country around is mostly higher. The position chosen has no natural protection. The work consists of a space roughly square surrounded by a moat of water; on the south-south-west side there is an outer banking, perhaps to form a water level: there is still (1914) water all around the moat. there is now no building within the enclosure, but a house once stood here: the exact purpose of these moats is uncertain, as the enclosure is not raised above the natural level, and even with a much deeper moat there would have been no defence against man. The entrance is uncertain, but was probably once by means of a bridge (Downman 1914).

The site seems to have been first occupied in the first half of 13th century, and the moat was excavated in the 14th century, possibly round an existing building, though this has not been confirmed.

Sources :
, OS Record Card
, OS Record Card
, OS Record Card
, OS Record Card
, 1857 ,
, 1948-9 , Archaeologia Cambrensis
Bradney, J A , 1907 , A history of Monmouthshire. Vol 1 pt iib, The Hundred of Abergavenny (part 2b)
Cadw , Cadw Scheduled Monument Record
Coxe, W , 1801 , An historical tour in Monmouthshire
Craster, O.E. & Lewis, J.M. , 1963-4 , Hen Gwrt Moated Site, Llantilio Crossenny, Monmouthshire

Events :

Related PRNs :

Compiled date : 02-09-1988

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