Presteigne; The Warden

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NamePresteigne; The Warden
Alternative NamesLlanondras
Historic CountryRadnorshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

A sub-oval enclosure, c.43m by 21m, defined by scarps along the S, elsewhere by a bank and ditch, with a further, rectilinear enclosure, c.49m by 37m, on the E, defined by scarps. 'Castle ditch' mentioned 1337, area landscaped in C19. (Coflein)

Ringwork with possible bailey. Interior of ringwork about 1.6m above general level of bailey area. Remains of ditch north and west. Bank 0.5m high forms north-west and east side of ringwork. Levelled by Llewelyn in 1262 and landscaped in 19th century. Motte c38m diameter, situated c2m from one end of bailey and c45m from the other. (Silvester, R J 1994b, 144). On rocky promontory commanding the valley of the Lugg, corresponding to Stapleton Castle on the opposite side of the river. Motte is oval measuring 40.5m W/E and 23m N/S. Attached bailey measures approx 50m W/E x 38m N/S. Little trace of ditch, except to NE, and W of motte itself. E bank of bailey between 1m and 1.5m high. (Cadw 1986) Motte is 2.0m high on E. Bailey level, but no visible surrounding ditch. (Cadw 1998). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. The Warden stands on a rocky promontory commanding the valley of the Lugg, forming a pair with Stapleton Castle on the opposite side of the river. The motte is unusually large, measuring c.43m east-west by c.21m, and appears more like a ringwork, with a bank around its edge rising c.0.5m above the level interior on the west, north and east sides, and traces of an outer ditch on the west and north-east; along the south side there is only a scarp

Adjoining this structure, to its east, at a general level about 1.6m lower, is a sub-rectangular bailey area measuring c.42m west-south-west to east-north-east by c.35m internally, defined by scarps. The site is said to have been levelled by Llywelyn in 1262, but was again mentioned as 'castle ditch' in 1337; the whole area was landscaped in the 19th century. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Survived well into C13 never rebuilt in stone. Mentioned as captured, by Llewelyn, in 1262.

- 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 ReferenceSO309645
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Kenyon, John, 2010, The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press) p. 60
  • Remfry, P., 2008, The Castles and History of Radnorshire (SCS Publishing)
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 250 (listed)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 66
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 181
  • Remfry, Paul Martin, 1999, Nine castles of Burford Barony, 1048 to 1308 (SCS Publishing: Worcestershire)
  • Remfry, P., 1996, Castles of Radnorshire (Logaston Press) p. 119-20
  • Burnham, H., 1995, A Guide to Ancient and Historic Wales: Clwyd and Powys (Cadw, London)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 411
  • Downman, E.A., 1916, Ancient Earthworks in Radnorshire
  • RCAHMW, 1913, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Radnorshire (HMSO) p. 136 no. 559 online copy


  • 1998-99, 'Pre-Conquest Castles in Herefordshire' Castle Studies Group Newsletter No. 12 p. 33-4 online copy
  • 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 (survived into C13 without being rebuilt in stone)
  • 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

Primary Sources

  • Williams (ab Ithel), John, (ed), 1860, Annales Cambriae (444 – 1288) (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts)1262 (as Llanondras) online copy


  • Silvester, R.J., 1994, Radnorshire Historic Settlements (CPAT report) p. 144 online copy