The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record

The following information has been provided under the terms and conditions of access as detailed on GGATs website  Copyright is reserved on all data supplied by the GGAT HER Charitable Trust. All output resulting from the use of the data must acknowledge the source as follows:-
Derived from information held by the GGAT HER Charitable Trust copyright.

The data below is intended to be used for information and research only and is not for use as part of a commercial project.  If you wish to use information derived from material held by the GGAT HER Charitable Trust for publication in printed or multimedia form or to compile resources for commercial use, prior permission must be obtained in writing. For further information or to arrange a visit to the Trust please send an enquiry form to

Skenfrith Castle

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 01698g
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Community : Llangattock-vibon-avel
Unitary authority : Monmouthshire
NGR : SO4570020265
Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Castle
Status : listed building II*, Scheduled Monument

Summary :
The castle's walls survive in varying degrees of disrepair, though the main gate in the centre of the N side has been almost entirely destroyed. The wet moat can be traced as a hollow marking on the S and W sides of the castle.

Description :
The E curtain wall remains to wall wack and parapet level. The other walls remains in varying degrees; and of the S only the base of the parapet remains. Of the towers at the 4 wall corners all except the NW remain, the W curtain wall is strengthened by a central tower.
The site of the wet moat can be traced by a hollow marking on the S and W sides of the castle.
The main gate in the centre of the N side has been almost entirely destroyed.
The scheduled area was extended to include a grassed area immediately outside the walls of Skenfrith Castle, the S curtain wall and S tower forming the N boundary of the site. The area presumably overlies the castle ditch, known from excavations on the other sides of the castle.

Phillips notes that key features of Skenfrith Castle, situated at the bottom of a narrow hill surrounded valley, are a masonry construction built on level ground with a surrounding defensive ditch, four curtain walls with corner towers, an internal round keep and extant footings of internal stone buildings. Phillips interprets the site as a late tower buttress/masonry castle situated on natural ground previously thought to be a motte. Remains date to between 1219 and 1232 when it was under the ownership of Hubert de Burgh (Phillips 2004).

During December 2003, Marches Archaeology undertook a trial trench evaluation at The Old Shop, Skenfrith, Monmouthshire (E004674), on behalf of RRA Architects, in order to inform development proposals for the site comprising an extension to the existing house on the site. A possible boundary ditch connected with Skenfrith Castle that was backfilled in the 14th century, and a 14th century or later floor surface with a series of pits excavated through it were recorded on the site (Wainwright & Fielding 2003).

Sources :
Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust , 1989 , Site Visit Record
Phillips, N. , 2004 , Thesis: Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050 – 1250
The Handley Partnership , HAAbase built heritage assessment system: Buildings at Risk database
Wainwright, J. & Fielding, S. , 2003 , The Old Shop, Skenfrith, Monmouthshire: A report on an archaeological evaluation and building recording
06/PM Mention/CBA/Knight J/1970/Arch in Wales p26
07/PM Desc Text/DOE/1975/Monmouthshire Implications Report/8.2.1
08/MM Photo/GGAT/Lewis W/1979-80
04/PM Desc Text/Braun/1936/The English Castle PP50,52
03/PM Desc Text/1953/Castles of Great Britain pp108-9,143,254
02/PH Desc Text/Clark GT/1884/Medieval Military Architecture vol 2 pp467-72
09/PM Mention/CBA/Savory HN/1965/Arch in Wales p5 (Jug)
05/PM Desc Text/1929/Trans Bristol & Glos Arch Soc vol 49 p29
27/PM Report on Geophysical Survey/Geophysical Surveys/1990
19/PM Desc Text/Craster OE/1967/Arch Camb CXVI pp133-58
20/PM Desc Text/Williams G/1973/An Illustrated Guide to Ancient Monuments in Wales vol 4 p73
21/PM Desc Text/Cherry John/1973/Med Arch vol 17 p166
22/PM Desc Text/Hurst JG/1957/Med Arch vol 1 p158
23/PM Desc Text/Hurst JG/1958/Med Arch vol 1 p158
24/PH Desc Text/Westyr Evans JH/1889/Trans Cardiff Nat Soc vol XXI pt 1 pp32-7
11/MM Record Card/NMW/SO 42 SE
26/PM Desc Text/1979/Arch Camb CXXVIII/Report of the Annual Meeting/pp178-85
10/PM Desc Text/Knight J/1977/Gwent Local Hist/The Medieval Castles of Monmouthshire no 42-3 p40
13/MM Record Card/NMW/SO 42 SE
01/MM Record Card/OS/1957/SO 42 SE II
14/MM Mention/Cadw/1953/Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest p2
18/PM Desc Text/Renn DF/1961/Arch Camb vol 110 pp134,143
16/MM Desc Text/Cadw/1992/AM107
17/MM Desc Text/Cadw/1994/AM107
12/MM Record Card/NMW/SO 42 SE
25/PH Desc Text/Rennfeld T/1889/Trans Cardiff Nat Soc vol XXI pt 1 pp37-40
15/MM Desc Text/Cadw/Whittle E/1987/AM107
28/PM Desc Text/Parkes LN & Webster PV/1972/Arch in Wales/no 54 p33

Events :
E000304 : SKENFRITH CASTLE, PARTIAL EXCAVATION, 1955-7 (year : 1955-7)
E000358 : SKENFRITH CASTLE, PARTIAL EXCAVATION, 1970 (year : 1970)
E000927 : Skenfrith Castle WB (year : 2008)
E003845 : Skenfrith Castle Report on Geophysical Survey (year : 1991)
E004063 : Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050 – 1250 (year : 2004)
E002284 : Skenfrith Castle WB (year : 1997)
E004732 : Watching Brief at Skenfrith Castle (year : 2002)
E004674 : Evaluation at The Old Shop, Skenfrith (year : 2003)

Related PRNs : 93431

Compiled date : 02-12-1988

March 23, 2019, 6:14 am - HTML file produced from GGAT HER Charitable Trust Ltd. Heathfield House, Heathfield, Swansea SA1 Tel. 01792 655208; Fax 01792 474469 website:  email: Registered Charity no. 505609
Data supplied by in partnership with Local Authorities, Cadw and the partners of ENDEX © GGAT HER Charitable Trust, 2019 (and in part © Crown, 2019).