St Clears Town Defences

Has been described as a Possible Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameSt Clears Town Defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCarmarthenshire
Modern AuthorityCarmarthenshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunitySt Clears

No remains of earthwork town defences, for which there is no documentary evidence. Presumed to be a bank running across the open side of the town between the Afon Taf and Afon Cynin. (Bond 1987)

Exposed section at building site recorded by plan and photographs, S Crummy & N Edwards 05/03/79. Redeposited natural sealing a well-developed buried soil - nearly horizontal. A piece of 13th/14th centurt pottery identified by D Benson, came from a stratified deposit above the buried bank. Levels were taken to compare with the other side of Foxhole Terrace and the buried soil was a metre or so lower vertically. N Edwards. 1979 In August 1989, a section across the rampart and part of the ditch of St Clears town defences was exposed during clearance work for a carport adjacent in Foxhole Terrace. The work confirmed that the exposure seen in 1979 was part of a earthern bank, enclosing part of the medieval borough of St Clears. The bank was composed of stiff boulder clay, upcast from the ditch, and sealed a buried soil of brown clay loam. No dating evidence came from the buried soil or the bank. There was some indication that the buried soil may have been ploughed prior to the construction of the defences. JH July based on TAJ 1989 In 1990, a four week excavation was carried out by Dyfed Archaeological Trust on the only remaining part of St Clears town defences. The bank was seen to have no internal structure. Samples were takwn for environmental analysis and radio-carbon dating. JH July 1998 based on DAT 1990 (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

The Dyfed Archaeological Trust excavated, in 1990, the last remaining bit of the outer face of the bank, all the rest had been terraced away for housing. No evidence of palisade, but very definitely a substantial clay bank. The ground beneath the bank was marked with cattle hoof prints. (David Maynard)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN280154
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  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 180
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 83, 128, 273
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds), Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • Soulsby, Ian, 1983, The Towns of Medieval Wales (Phillimore; Chichester) p. 237-8 (plan)


  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86


  • David Maynard, 5-2-07, pers. corr.