Castell Einion Sais

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle

There are no visible remains

NameCastell Einion Sais
Alternative NamesPenpont
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

Castle site (OS, 1964; Hogg, A H A & King, D J C, 1967). Foundation removed c1789 (Jones, 1809). No remains now apparent (OS, 1972; CPAT site visit, 1981). Castle built in 14th century by Inon Sais (Inon son of Rhees ab Howell lord of Aberllyfni), owned by Gam family. (NMR). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

In the vale, not far from the influx of a small rivulet into the Usk, near Penpont, was a castle, built by Einon Sais, a Welsh chieftain, who attended Edward III. in most of his wars, and was present at the memorable battles of Cressy and Poictiers: this castle afterwards descended to Sir David Gam, but not a vestige of it is now distinguishable. (Lewis)

He built a castellated mansion for his residence in the parish of Llanspyddid, lately called the castle field, now (1805) the property of Penry Williams of Penpont, Esq. It is described to have been situated on the fall of a small brook into the Usk, near Bettws or Penpont chapel: there is still an unevenness in the surface of the ground, though there are not now the smallest vestiges of buildings remaining. Hugh Thomas, who wrote in 1698, recollects to have seen the ruins, and there were others living in 1805 who remember the rubbish being removed and the soil cleared of the stones and materials of the walls: it was called from the owner, Castell Einion Sais, or Einion the Englishman's castle, an appellation by which the Welsh sometimes distinguish not only the English settlers among them, but also their own countrymen, who have been brought up and educated in England. (Jones)

Gatehouse Comments

Remfry identifies this with Cwm Camlais (SN956261) a mile away but the given site is next to the Penpont chapel (a medieval building) and seems fairly well attested. The grounds around the C17 mansion Penpont have been landscaped. As with many castles identification of the site in the past has been made difficult because of preconceptions about castles as 'military' buildings rather than the residences of a military elite.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN973286
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  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 87
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 22 (mention)
  • Remfry, Paul, 1998, Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press) p. 107-8
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 21
  • Jones, Theophilius, 1909 (Glanusk edn, orginal publushed 1809), A History of the County of Brecknock (Brecknock) Vol. 1 p. 97-8 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 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
  • King, D.J.C., 1961, ‘The castles of Breconshire’ Brycheiniog Vol. 7 p. 1-90 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Edwards, J.G. (ed), 1940, Littere Wallie, preserved in Liber A (Cardiff) p. 29, 34 (Einion Sais as person)