Talgarth 'Castle'

Has been described as a Questionable Uncertain

There are no visible remains

NameTalgarth 'Castle'
Alternative Names
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

Mentioned in a charter of Roger, Earl of Hereford, not later than 1156. A 13th-century tower on a small motte is still standing, and can be seen from the railway between Brecon and Hereford. (Armitage)

Gatehouse Comments

In addition Rickard cites two references to Hugh le Despenser as constable of Talgarth in 1322. This does no seem to be Bwlch-y Ddinas, where Griffin ap Rees was Constable, nor, at this relatively late date, the various earthworks in Talgarth. The 1854 article cited by Armitage is an English translation and does not give the original Latin, the phrases used is 'he gives the priory the tithes of all his corn (in sheaf), to be taken at the doors of his grange at the castles of Brecknock, Talgarth, and the Hay.' This is clearly taken from Dugdale where the original Latin is given as 'ad hostia grangiarum apud castellum de Brechonia et apud Talgar et Hayam' which could well be translated as 'the door of the granges at the castle of Brecon and at Talgarth and Hay'. The use of the term castle to describe towns is not unknown in medieval documents but is unusual but in this case a different interpretation of the Latin does not suggest a castle of any form anyway. The Close Roll entry of 1322 is an order to deliver various castles, manors and lands to Hugh le Despenser but the associated orders to deliver goods does not call Talgarth a castle, unlike the other castles listed. The Tower, whilst too small to be considered a castle of itself, might be the C14 constables dwelling and office. Whilst there is no evidence a 'motte' under the Talgarth Tower this does not exclude the existence of any earlier building (presumably of timber) on this spot and serving a similar function as the town constable deputy's residence and offices. Earl Roger's 'castle' (if the documentary evidence actually substantiates that term) of Talgarth might be one of the nearby earthworks outside the town

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO155337
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Calculate Print


  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 22
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 292 online copy


  • Dugdale, William, (ed. J. Caley, H. Ellis and B. Bandinel), 1817-30, Monasticon Anglicanum (London) Vol. 3 p. 265 online copy


  • Roberts, G., 1854, 'Priory of St. John the Evangelist Breacon' Archaeologia Cambrensis (new ser) Vol. 5 p. 23-28 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) p. 107 (cites-
  • Calendar of Fine Rolls (1319-1327) p. 143
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Close Rolls Edward I (1272-1279) Vol. 1 p. 617 (an order to deliver various castles and manors to Despenser) view online copy (subscription required)