Castell Pengawsai

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Pengawsai
Alternative NamesLlangolman; Blaenllechog
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

A small, oval ringwork 24m by 20m overall, ditched & banked, enclosing a possible building site 9.0m by 6.0m. (Coflein)

This is a small circular enclosure having a diameter of about 50 feet, situated about 180 yards west of Pengawsai farm-house. The surrounding earthen bank rises to a maximum height of 6 feet, but has been removed for a section of the circuit. Outside is a broad ditch, now only 2 feet deep, and in places altogether filled up, doubtless with the contents of the denuded and demolished bank. The entrance facing east has been altered. The earthwork would appear to possess many characteristics of the medieval moated homestead, though the latter is usually rectangular in form. The surrounding area is level, and the enclosure itself so feebly defended as to make it improbable that it was intended primarily for defence. The work is locally known as Castell Blaenllechog, the name of the adjoining farm; and the field on which it stands is called Castle Park. (RCAHMW)

The monument comprises the remains of an earthwork ringwork likely to date to the medieval period (c. AD 1066 - 1485). It is oval shaped and measures 24m by 20m overall and comprises a well preserved bank 3.3m high externally, 1.3-1.8m high internally enclosing a possible building site measuring 9m by 6m. There is a possible entrance on the south east side and a surrounding ditch surviving to a depth of 0.3-0.6m. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Coflein dates this as '? medieval', the rather elderly RCAHMW Inventory puts it into the 'Hill Fort' category and the Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER record dates as 'Medieval; Iron Age'. The location is isolated. Despite this the usual castle authors seem to have no problem with this being a medieval ringwork. On the border between English and Welsh Pembrokeshire so possibly a defended medieval farmstead but the small size would suggest a tenant of relatively lowly status, although still possible one owing some military service.

- 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 ReferenceSN110280
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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. 247 (listed)
  • Hull, Lise, 2005, Castles and Bishops Palaces of Pembrokeshire (Logaston Press) p. 70
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 39 (reconstruction)
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 86 (slight)
  • Miles, Dillwyn, 1979 (Revised 1988), Castles of Pembrokeshire (Pembrokeshire Coast National Park) p. 5-7
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 394
  • RCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 170 no. 493 online copy


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