Kemeys Inferior Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameKemeys Inferior Motte
Alternative NamesKemys Motte; Gipsies Mount; Gypsies Tump
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityNewport
1974 AuthorityGwent

An apparent motte and bailey, where the mound appears to be a thickening of one angle of the rampart round a sub-rectangular enclosure, c.26m NE-SW by 18m, resting on the NW on steep slopes above the Usk river-plain. The site is thought to have been reduced by land-slips and is obscured by a road on the SE. The site has produced C12-13 pottery. (Coflein)

The position has a natural defence on the W. in a steep fault. The land has fallen on the W & a road has been cut on the E. But it consisted of a mound & a bailey. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. The site is located on the E side of the Usk valley at the top of a steep slope above the flood plain. Immediately to the E of the motte is the old Caerleon to Usk road, which cuts into the base of the bank and mound. The area between the road and the top of the slope is narrow, bounded by a natural gully and a flat-bottomed ditch on the S side. The ditch is 2m wide and 1.8m deep. The motte is located at the N end of the site and comprises a steep-sided circular mound 3m high with a flat top 7m in diameter. To the S of the motte is an L-shaped bank, 2.5m high, which curves around towards the W and ends just before the edge of the slope leaving a narrow gap which may be the bailey entrance. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Phillips state the 'motte' is a product of a late cut into a partial, damaged, ringwork in a not defensive position. The function is as unclear as the original form.

- 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 ReferenceST390939
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 243 (listed)
  • Prior, Stuart, 2006, A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Tempus) p. 110-164
  • Phillips, Neil, 2006, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (British Archaeological Reports) p. 208-10
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 146
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 20
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 284


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château 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


  • Phillips, Neil, 2005, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (PhD Thesis University of Sheffield) Download