Treoda, Whitchurch

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameTreoda, Whitchurch
Alternative NamesTre Oda; Album Monasterium; Blank Mouster; Kibor; Castellum Kibur
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityCardiff
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan

Treoda Castle Mound, Whitchurch, at 30m above OD. The removal of a medieval motte during building operations revealed an earlier turf mound 12.8m in diameter, capped by clayey earth to an overall diameter of about 23m within a ditch. There was a small rectangular setting of stones at the centre, but there was no burial. Small fragments of bronze-age pottery were found in ditch silting. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER no00615s)

The chain of defence set up by Earl Gilbert de Clare, including Caerphilly and Castell Coch, with circular tower which is now destroyed. No sign of ditch/bailey. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER no00616s)

CARDIFF, TRE ODA (STj1S6804). A mound of two periods was totally excavated by J. K. Knight, E. J. Talbot and I. Rowlands for M.P.B.W., by mechanical means in advance of building. In the first period it was of turf, 80 ft. diam., and was almost certainly a bronze-age barrow, though no burial was found. Small crumbs of bronze-age pottery were found in the ditch, which had entirely silted up before enlargement of the mound in the second period. In the turf line between the primary mound and its enlargement were a little abraded Roman material and several early r zth-century sherds. The motte, 120 ft. diam. at base and composed of heavy pebbly boulder clay, survived only to a height of S ft.; there was no trace of the stone keep seen by G. T. Clark in the 19th century. An iron caltrop and 14th-century pottery were found in the secondary silting ofthe motte ditch. (Med. Arch., 1967)

Treoda Castle Mound marked the site of a medieval castle first mentioned in 1314 and probably built in the later thirteenth century. This was a manorial centre with a chapel to the south-east (NPRN 307792). In the early sixteenth century Leland noted vestiges of 'a pile or maner place'

The mound was lowered and otherwise landscaped in 1848 to form part of the garden of Plas Treoda (NPRN 20105) and the masonry discovered was used in the building of the Plas. It was finally levelled in 1966 following limited excavation. The mound was roughly circular, 40m across at its base and 1.6-2.0m high. Before 1848 it would have been some 3.6m high. The masonry uncovered may have been a large circular tower, but this is uncertain. Excavations showed that the mound had been raised over an earlier low turf mound some 25m in diameter. This may have been a prehistoric funerary monument and fragments of Bronze Age pottery were found. Abraded Roman tile and pottery were recovered from the surface of the turf mound and a few sherds of second and third century pottery have been recovered from the church site. The castle mound and chapel both stood within a roughly rectangular banked enclosure some 195m north-south by 160m. It is suggested that this was a Roman fort, however the setting, within a shallow valley, makes this unlikely. (Coflein–ref. RCAHMW, 1991)

Motte formed from Bronze Age round barrow. Site built over. King and Hogg write "Low mound, apparently a flat motte, though its shape may have been partly due to modern interference. When it was removed in 1966, no trace was found of the tower reported by Clark." Possibly mentioned in 1315 as a forcelettum. Suggest by Clark as site of Castellum Kibur mentioned 1203.

Gatehouse Comments

Album Monasterium is a name usually applied to Oswestry but occasional Whitchurch in Shropshire or Whitchurch in Glamorgan.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST156804
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 255 (listed as lost)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 111
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford)
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > MM2 p. 211-5
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 64
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 172
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 383
  • RCAHMW, 1976, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 1 Part 2: Stone Age & Bronze Age (London: HMSO) no. 421 p. 102
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 345
  • Randall, Henry John, 1961, The Vale of Glamorgan, Studies in Landscape and History (Newport: R.H.Johns Ltd) p. 77
  • Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England  (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 150


  • Spurgeon, C.J. and Thomas, H.J.,1980, 'Treoda, Whitchurch, Cardiff', Archaeology in Wales Vol. 20 p. 79-81
  • Knight, J.K. and Talbot, E.J., 1968-70, 'The Excavation of a Castle Mound and Round Barrow at Tew-Oda, Whitchurch' Transactions of the Cardiff Naturalists Society Vol. 95 p. 9-23
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • 1967, 'Medieval Britain in 1966' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 11 p. 289 online copy
  • Knight, J.K., 1966, 'Recent archaeological excavation and discovery in Glamorgan' Morgannwg Vol. 10 p. 68 (interim report) online copy
  • 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
  • Renn, D.F., 1961, 'The round keeps of the Brecon region' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 110 p. 140

Primary Sources