Coed y Cwm, St Nicholas

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameCoed y Cwm, St Nicholas
Alternative NamesBolston
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan
CommunitySt Nicholas And Bonvilston

C12 ringwork. A sub-circular enclosure, c.27-29.5m in diameter, defined by a strong bank and ditch. Excavations, 1963, 1964-5, revealed some structural elements, with C12 pottery. (Coflein–ref. RCAHMW 1991)

A ring motte consists of a bank 0.4m high with an outer ditch 1.2m deep. In the NW where the ridge falls sharply away there is an outer slope forming a bank (OS card ST 07 SE 9). Excavated; formidable defences (RCAHMW 1991, 92-4 CR6) (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

J. Akerman began the work on this ring-work in 1963 and E. J. Talbot continued it in 1964 and 1965. The entrance carried a metalled roadway flanked by dry-stone piers. The defences formed a more substantial obstacle than would appear today, for the bottom of the ditch is over 10 ft. below the present eroded crest of the bank. The bank appears to have been stone-capped, but there is no trace of breastwork or revetment. In the interior burnt timbers were found, possibly indicating sole-plates. There was a little pottery, probably of 12th-century date. (Med. Arch., 1965)

The monument comprises the remains of a well preserved castle-ringwork, which dates to the medieval period (c. AD 1066 - 1485). The site is situated on flat ground overlooking a small valley to the north-east, in a wood. It consists of a circular bank with external ditch. The interior is flat. On the north and west sides the ditch is 2m wide, with a flat bottom, and 1m high externally, 1.5 m high internally. There is no bank outside the ditch, and the bank on the inside is c. 0.5 m high. On the west side is a causeway 6 m wide across the ditch. On the south side the bank is higher - 2 m high externally and 0.7 m internally. On the east side the ground outside the ringwork slopes away to the valley, and there is a bank outside the ditch 5 m wide and 1 m high, with a berm outside it 1.5 m wide and 0.6 m high. The main bank is 2 m high externally and 0.6 m high internally along this side

The external bank stops at the north end where the ringwork curves around to the west, away from the slope. Half-way along the east side is a narrow gap, 1 m wide, through both banks. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The Mitdehorguill family were subtenants of the Corbets in the area from C12 and probably held Coed-y-Cwm as their caput.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST082736
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 239 (listed)
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 358
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > CR6 p. 92-4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 169
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker)
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 439
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Talbot, E.J., 1966, Appendix II in Alcock, L., 'Castle Tower, Penmaen: a Norman ringwork in Glamorgan' Antiquarian Journal Vol. 44 p. 207
  • 1966, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 10 p. 194 download copy
  • Akerman and Talbot, 1965, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 9 p. 193 download copy
  • 1965, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 61 p. 30
  • 1965, 'Recent archaeological excavation and discovery in Glamorgan' Morgannwg Vol. 9 p. 95 online copy
  • 1964, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 44 p. 17-18
  • Alcock, L., 1964, 'Recent archaeological excavation and discovery in Glamorgan' Morgannwg Vol. 8 p. 69-70 online copy
  • 1963, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 42 p. 42
  • 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