Llanfyrnach Motte

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

There are earthwork remains

NameLlanfyrnach Motte
Alternative Names
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

A motte castle with traces of a bailey court, immediately north-west of the parish church. The mound rises to a height of 25 feet; its summit is 60 feet in diameter. In the centre a depression of from 8 to 10 feet is surrounded with traces of stone foundations. These have a width of 8 feet. The mound, the sides of which are heavily clothed with vegetation, is being dug into for gravel; otherwise it is well preserved. Between it and the churchyard are faint traces of the bailey. (RCAHMW)

Overgrown ring-motte and bailey. (King)

Mound, 6m high, now a garden feature, interpreted as a ditched motte. Stone foundations around the summit of the motte and remains of a bailey, are problematic. (Coflein)

A ring motte c.4m high with a flat top and steep sides. No bailey is visible but this may be due to the development around the site, ie a road to the east and south side and a house to the north. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Is this a ringwork, partly filled in with the rubble from a long gone tower or a tower with earth pilled around it to give it the look of being on a mound (Such as at Lydford, Devon). The limited understanding of the diversity of castle forms by earlier authors may mean the given descriptions are distorted.

- 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 ReferenceSN219312
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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. 248 (listed)
  • Hull, Lise, 2005, Castles and Bishops Palaces of Pembrokeshire (Logaston Press) p. 120
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 178
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 36
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 87 (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. 393
  • RCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 166 no. 476 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 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