Maes Celyn Motte, Crickhowell

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

There are earthwork remains

NameMaes Celyn Motte, Crickhowell
Alternative NamesMaescelyn Castle
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

A steep-sided, flat-topped mound, thought to be a medieval castle motte: set on generally south-west facing slopes, the mound is generally rectangular, about 33m north-south by 25m, and between 2.5m & 6.0m high, depending on the fall of the ground, having a summit area some 20m north-south by 10m; the southern part of the summit, terraced 1.0m above the remainder, is thought to cover the remains of a rectangular(?) tower about 7.0m across: a prominent crescentic scarp to the east of the mound may represent a bailey enclosure, in the region of 48m east-west by 41m; St Mary's chapel (Nprn306243) is thought to have been located on the eastern fringe of this area. (Coflein–ref. Phillips 2004 (AW 43 2003), 149-50.)

Motte 2.5m high on north-east and 6m high on south-west. Topped by two platforms separated by 1m high scarp. Traces of masonry and possible bailey, represented only by crescentic scarp to south-east. Main Part of mound 16' high, top diameter 25', contains lowest courses of a circular stone building, outer faces of which are visible on the S and E sides. (Cadw 1989). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. The motte is elongated in plan, 2.5m high on the NE side and 6m high on the SW side. The summit is separated in to two levels by a 1m high scarp. On the SE side coursed masonry from a circular stone building survives, together with two short stretches of walling runing to the east and appearing to follow the circumference of the summit. In the pasture to the east of the motte is a crescentic shaped scarped slope which could represent the area of the former bailey. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The quality of remains may be judged by the difficulty in deciding the form of the ruined 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 ReferenceSO206194
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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. 29
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 18
  • Remfry, Paul, 1998, Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press) p. 169
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 18
  • Fisher, J. (ed), 1917 Tours in Wales (1804-1813) by Richard Fenton (Cambrian Archaeological Association) online copy


  • Phillips, 2003, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 43 p. 149-50
  • 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. 87-8 no. 21 online copy
  • Renn, D.F., 1961, 'The round keeps of the Brecon region' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 110 p. 138