Adpar Motte, Llandyfriog

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameAdpar Motte, Llandyfriog
Alternative NamesAtpar
Historic CountryCardiganshire
Modern AuthorityCeredigion
1974 AuthorityDyfed

A possible medieval castle motte: a subcircular, flat-topped mound, 22m in diameter & about 3.5m high, set on ground falling to the south; mutilated by later use - the mound, or mount, shows traces of ornamental paths, apparently those depicted on OS County series 2nd ed. (Cardigan. XLV.2 1906). (Coflein)

Llandyfriog (Adpar). This castle, which is often identified with the castle of Emlyn in references before 1240, consistent now only a of a motte, boxed in by buildings. Its ditch is completely filled and any bailey it may have had is vanished.

The site is a prominence from the higher ground on the N. overlooking that Teifi and Emlyn bridge, with a sharp fall of 10-15 ft. to the road below. The motte occupied the point of this projection, leaving a slight berm or scarping-step at the extreme end. There is little else to say about the place; the motte been severely mutilated on its E. side, hoLE was been dug in the top which is covered with unpleasant vegetation, and a shed has been hacked into its N. slope.


Diameters: about 40ft. each way originally.

Height: N.E. 12ft., S. about 18ft. (King 1956)

Behind a gentleman’s house, on the other side of the bridge, is a considerable mount, of a military character, which must have commanded the river. There are no traces of any masonry existing. It may have been held as a check to the occupants of the opposite castle, or may have been the original strong post occupied by the Normans prior to their erecting their castle on the peninsula, and thence called Newcastle, as in the case of Newport, whither the Norman baron removed from his castle at Nevem. Such mounts are not unfrequently found near later and more important edifices, as in the case of the Twthill, near Rhuddlan Castle. (Arch. Cam. 1859)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD)

A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, though little trace survives of any here, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. Adpar Castle Mound sits on a south-facing slope overlooking Newcastle Emlyn Bridge. It is sub-circular, measures c.22m in diameter at the base, and rises c.7m high on the south side, and c.3.5m high on the north. The summit is c.12m in diameter and has clearly been disturbed by a number of irregular trenches. Late 19th-century maps suggest the presence of ornamental paths on the mound, which may have been re-used as an ornamental feature in the Cilgwyn Estate grounds. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Suggested as the original castle of Emlyn before Newcastle Emlyn was built. The Adpar site is constricted so a move to the site just across the river may have been to allow for a larger building complex. However, the river was a political boundary and this did move the castle to a different commote (actually into Emlyn and out of Is Aeron) so it may be that this was a contemporaneous castle held at the same time as a precursor castle at Newcastle. This then may suggest both sites were significant as toll collection points as well as administrative and policing points.

- 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 ReferenceSN309409
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 233 (listed)
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 26
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 46 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 44
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 289 (As Newcastle Emlyn) 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
  • King, D.J.C., 1956, 'The Castles of Cardiganshire' Ceredigion Vol. 3 p. 58 no. 11 online copy
  • 1859, 'Cardigan Meeting - Report' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 5 (3ser) p. 346 online copy