Castell Abersoch

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameCastell Abersoch
Alternative NamesCastell Aber-Soch; Hen Gaer; Castellmarch
Historic CountryCaernarfonshire
Modern AuthorityGwynedd
1974 AuthorityGwynedd

An enclosure noted in 1871 and 1917, is presently obscurred, mutilated and built-over. A sketch plan of 1817 records an enclosure resting on an angle of steep natural slopes, c.37.5m N-S & 23m NW-SE, otherwise delineated by a crescentic stony bank and one or more ditches. Present (1975) remains may represent only natural scarps. (Coflein–ref. J.Wiles 12.03.03)

Castell Abersoch has been almost obliterated in the north and west by building and landscaping ditch in the NW visible in 1903 has been almost filled in. The top measures 110ft from SW to NE and the ditch is 54ft wide, although dimensions may not represent original form. Several stone hammers were found when the 19th century turnpike was built (RCAHMW). Only the scarp slope on the east and south remains, the rest has been destroyed by building and landscaping. A stone retaining wall has been built in the south side of the motte, also digging has taken place in the west (OS record). The condition of the motte has stabilized as a front garden. Only the S and E quadrants were viewed. Nowhere is the ditch visible now, and a large part of the edge of the mound has been truncated by a road and retaining wall to the east and by housing and associated development around the south. The top now holds a house/drive etc (the latter cuts through the NE quadrant of the mound) but the general profile when viewed from the beach can still be made out. No immediate threat but enough left to dig and get results in the future (house owner willing, which is unlikely). Castell Abersoch, largely destroyed by road construction and by housing, partly stabilised as a front garden. Several stone hammers are said to have been found when the turnpike was built in the 19th century. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSH313285
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  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles of North Wales (Malvern) p. 49 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 54
  • RCAHMW, 1964, A Survey and Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Caernarvonshire Vol. 3: West (HMSO) p. 63 no. 1626 online copy


  • 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