Cefn Barn Ringwork, Trefeca Fawr

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

There are masonry footings remains

NameCefn Barn Ringwork, Trefeca Fawr
Alternative NamesTrefecca Fawr; Trefeca-fawr; Cefn Bank; Weynards Castle; Waynards castle; Castellum Waynardi
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

A sub-circular enclosure, c.24m by 21m, defined by a bank and ditch, with an entrance to the E. Suggested identification as "castellum Waynardi" (mentioned 1143-55). (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a well preserved castle-ringwork, which dates to the early part of the medieval period (c. AD 1066 - 1485). The ringwork is roughly circular in plan, measuring 27m N/S and 23m E/W with a discontinuous bank and ditch defining the outer edge of the enclosure. The interior is flat. The bank is steep sided, a maximum of 1m high on the inside and 2.2m high on the outside, and surrounded by a shallow ditch, 0.3m to 0.5m deep. The ditch is intermittent and does not survive on the S or E sides. There is a gap in the bank on the E side which may be the original entrance. At the W end of the site is a stone outcrop at the foot of the bank which is around 3m high. A hollow to the S of the outcrop may be the result of quarrying. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

It is suggested that possibly the ringbank is rubble remains of masonry enclosure wall. Salter identified this as a predecessor or siege-camp. No real reason to think it was a predecessor site. The location, on a hillside, has some value as a siege work but would be vulnerable to counter attack but there is no history of a siege and a siege of such length as to make building such a fortification worthwhile would probably be recorded. Possibly an Iron Age farmstead with drystone enclosure wall but does seem to be well accepted as medieval by the usual authorities. Waynard's Castle is an unidentified castle mentioned in mid C12 Charter, near Talgarth, identified as possible Trefecca Fawr by Remfry and as either Trefeca, Trefeca fawr or, most favoured, Garn y Castell by King.

- 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 ReferenceSO145314
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 232 (listed)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 33
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 18
  • Remfry, Paul, 1998, Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press) p. 175
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 20


  • 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. 92 no. 35 online copy
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as precussor to Talgarth - presumable meaning Trefecca)
  • Savory, H.N., 1952, 'Pipton Long Cairn?' Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies Vol. 14 p. 166-168
  • Nash-Williams, V.E., 1933, 'An early Iron Age hillfort at Llanmelin, near Caerwent, Montgomeryshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 88 p. 237-340 (as hillfort)

Primary Sources

  • Dugdale, William (Caley, J., Ellis, H. and Bandinel, B. (eds)), 1817-30 (originally pub. 1655-73), Monasticon Anglicanum (London) Vol. 3 p. 265b online copy