Cae Burdydd Castle, Vaynor

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

There are earthwork remains

NameCae Burdydd Castle, Vaynor
Alternative NamesFaenor; Vaenor
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityMerthyr Tydfil
1974 AuthorityMid Glamorgan

Small motte on the edge of a steep drop to the gorge, showing traces of a surrounding ditch. No signs of a bailey. The motte & ditch are barely traceable. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

A ditched, scarp-edge mound, c.23m in diameter and c.3.0m high. Interpreted as a castle motte, whilst reports of a "tumulus" in the vicinity, opened in 1823, revealing a possible charnel pit, may suggest otherwise (source Os495card; SO01SW6). (Coflein ref.–J.Wiles 24.07.02)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. The motte is 23m in diameter and 3m high with a steep drop to river on the east side. The top of the motte is 7m in diameter and concave in shape, with a slight horseshoe shaped bank on the landward side. The ditch is approximately 4m wide. There is no trace of a bailey. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Also suggested as the collapsed relics of destroyed round tower, which, given the very poor mortar in this part of Wales is possible and would require good excavation to show otherwise. Close to the parish church and an entirely possible location for a manorial centre dressed up with some martial features, like a motte or tower.

- 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 ReferenceSO047102
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 254 (listed as possible)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 18
  • Remfry, Paul, 1998, Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press) p. 131
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 75 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 21


  • 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
  • King, D.J.C., 1961, ‘The castles of Breconshire’ Brycheiniog Vol. 7 p. 93 no. 38 online copy