Mountyborough, Old Penrice Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameMountyborough, Old Penrice Castle
Alternative NamesMounty Bank; Mounty Brough
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthoritySwansea
1974 AuthorityWest Glamorgan

The Penrice Castle Ring is an embanked oval enclosure, c.40m by 28m, close to the westen end of the village green inn Penrice. The defining ditch remains only to the west but elsewhere its line may be perpetuated by hedgelines. It is thought to be the castle founded by Henry de Beaumont in 1099, the predecessor to Penrice Castle (Nprn94534). Wooden stakes were found in, or under the bank in around 1927. (Coflein)

An early castle ringwork situated beside the parish church of Penrice. It was replaced as the caput of the knight's fee of Penrice in the 13th century by the stone built Penrice Castle (PRN 170w). The site of the new castle was chosen for its impressive natural defences, 850m to the south-west. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The ringwork at Penrice is the third largest on Gower, after North Hill Tor and Norton, and the most massively constructed; a correlation has been noted between large size and early foundation. Penrice is one of the twelve 'ancient knights' fees' held by military service before 1135, which are listed in a charter of 1306 (RCAHMW 1991, 29-30, 113-115; Draisey 2002, 19; Nicholl 1936,168-169). The ringwork appears to have had a relatively short life, as it is thought to have been abandoned during the twelfth century, when they moved to the site of the larger stone-built castle to the northeast. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Historic Landscape Characterisation)

The monument comprises the remains of a castle-ringwork which dates to the medieval period (c. AD 1066 - 1485). It is located approximately 90m south-west of the parish church of St Andrew. The ringwork forms a banked oval enclosure and measures approximately 40m by 30m. Excavation in 1927 found the remains of wooden stakes under the bank. (Scheduling Report)

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 ReferenceSS492878
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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

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 240 (listed)
  • Draisey, Derek, 2002, A History of Gower
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > CR14 p. 113-5
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  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 444
  • Grenfell, Harold E. and Morris, Bernard, 1970 (Revised 1985) The Castles of Gower (Merthyr Tydfil) p. 2, 9
  • Nicholl, Lewis D., 1936, The Normans in Glamorgan, Gower and Kidweli


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
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  • King, D.J.C. and Perks, J.C., 1961, 'Penrice Castle, Gower' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 110 p. 71, 80
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12
  • Clark, G.T., 1880, The Builder Vol. 38 p. 249, 252