Castell Brogyntyn

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Brogyntyn
Alternative NamesSelattyn
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishSelattyn And Gobowen

Castell Brogyntyn ringwork castle remains in good condition and is an exceptionally fine example of its class. The castle will retain valuable archaeological information relating to its construction and to the character of its occupation both within the interior of the site and incorporated within the defensive earthworks. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will survive beneath the rampart and in the sediments of the ditch. Such castle sites, when considered either as a single site or as a part of a broader medieval landscape, contribute important information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period. The later works, including the bowling green, semicircular building and the tunnel beneath the ringwork, although relating to a later period of parkland use, are also regarded as important parts of the monument. They illustrate exceptionally well how visually spectacular archaeological sites were incorporated into ornamental landscapes at later periods.

The monument includes Castell Brogyntyn ringwork castle, and the tunnel beneath it. The ringwork is situated in Brogyntyn Park (an area of landscaped parkland associated with Brogyntyn Hall). It is sited in a strategically strong position on the northern tip of a spur of high ground overlooking land falling to the north, west and east. The castle is traditionally thought to have been constructed by Brogyntyn, the son of the Welsh Prince Owen Madre. The site has exceptional defensive strength achieved through both its siting and through the scale of its artificial defences.

It includes a well defined outer ditch 6m wide and averaging 2m deep which has been cut around the end of the spur to form a circular enclosure with an overall diameter of 80m. Around the south east side of the site there are traces of an outer bank up to 5m wide and 0.4m high flanking the outer edge of the ditch

The ditch is interrupted for approximately 5m in the north east quarter of its circuit by what is probably an entrance to the castle. At this point the outer edge of the ditch curves outwards on both sides of the gap towards the north, running for approximately 30m as a shallow sunken way. A lowering of the inner rampart corresponding with this feature suggests that it represents an approach to the interior of the ringwork. This entrance may be associated with the medieval occupation of the castle or with its modern period of use as a bowling green. Rising from the base of the ditch is a steep sided rampart up to 5.2m high on its outer face and 1.6m high on its inner face, enclosing a circular area 47m in diameter.

The interior of the ringwork has been levelled and used as a bowling green. In the north west quarter of the interior, built partly into the inner face of the medieval rampart, are the remains of a small circular, or semicircular building with an internal diameter of 5m. The stone and brick walls stand to a height of 1.5m around the west side, where it is set into the rampart. Scattered broken slates in the immediate vicinity indicate that it originally had a slate roof. It is believed to relate to the period when the interior was used as a bowling green, and is included in the scheduling.

A striking feature of the site is a rock cut tunnel which has been cut diagonally north west to south east through the natural strata beneath the ringwork. The tunnel entrances lie in the ringwork ditch, it is some 80m long, averages 2m high and 1.5m wide and curves slightly towards its centre so that it is not possible to see directly from one end to the other. It is however possible to walk its full length. At both ends of the tunnel the outer face of the ringwork ditch has gaps cut through it directly opposite the tunnel. The tunnel was either built as part of an elaborate landscape walk through the parkland or it was part of a water distribution system, perhaps associated with the ornamental lakes below the castle to the north west. The tunnel is included in the scheduling. (Scheduling Report)

Traditionally constructed by Brogyntyn, son of Prince Owen Madre of Wales. it is of great strength both naturally and artificially, occupying a spur which rises high above the surrounding land on the N, W and E. The interior measures 130ft in diameter, and is surrounded by a rampart 6ft high, and is surrounded by a rampart 6ft high which descends 18ft into an outer ditch. The entrance was on the NE . The interior has been levelled to form a bowling green (VCH 1908). (Shropshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

If built by Owain Brogyntyn would have been constructed in the late C12 (the 1180s). Now in the landscape grounds of Brogyntyn Hall. What was here before then?

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ273313
Latitude52.8748817443848
Longitude-3.08114004135132
Eastings327330
Northings331370
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Books

  • Davis, Paul R., 2007, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Y Lolfa) p. 94
  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 37-8
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 30
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 10
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 429
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 387-8
  • Bulkeley-Owen, 1898, History of the Parish of Selattyn (Oswestry) (very slight)
  • Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 525 online copy

Journals

  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124
  • Clark, G.T., 1878, 'Oswestry and Whittington' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 33 p. 193-4 online copy

Other

  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 21/11/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1983, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 14318