Castell Mabwinion

Has been described as a Questionable Uncertain

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Mabwinion
Alternative NamesCastell Mabwynion; Castellum Mebwenniaun
Historic CountryCardiganshire
Modern AuthorityCeredigion
1974 AuthorityDyfed

Of Castell Mabwynion, also in the parish, which was allotted by Prince Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, in his partition of the reconquered territories in South Wales, in 1216, to Rhys ab Grufydd, there are not any remains, neither is the exact site of it known. (Lewis)

This castle, mentioned in 1165 and 1216, is identified with Blaenporth by Morris, in the map of his Welsh Wars of Edward I; but the name is that of a commote, which Sir John Lloyd places at the S.E. of Ceredigion, about Lampeter. It is therefore possible that the castle is only that of Lampeter by yet another name. Meyrick (p. 234) identifies it with earthwork at Cwmcastell, Llanarth SN468555, which is a large enclosure with very little artificial defence–clearly not a medieval castle at all. (King)

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 1860, the record for Castle Mabwinion (Medieval castle), reads 'Some confusion - may be associated with either hillfort 1859 or 1861.'

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 1859, the record for Castell Moeddin (Iron Age hillfort) SN48505194, reads 'Castell Moeddyn lies on the southern side of a rounded hilltop at 270m above sea level in a strong naturally defended location. It is strongly defended by a rampart on the north, easily approachable side by, but more weakly defended along the steep slopes to the southwest, south and east. On these sides the hill falls steeply away to the Afon Grannell over 70m below

At its best preserved section on the northwest side the defences consist of a bank, ditch and counterscarp bank 18m wide in total and up to 4m - 5m high. A simple entrance lies on the northeast side. The interior is level, and oval in shape, measuring 175m by 78m. The site is under improved pasture, with a little scrub growth on the banks. K Murphy 15 December 2005 - taken from various sources.'

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER 1861, the record for Castell Moeddin Fach (Iron Age hillfort) SN47495142, reads 'Castell Moeddin Fach is a small inland promontory fort. A small triangular-shaped promontory with steep slopes on the west, south and east sides down to small streams is heavily defended by a bank and ditch on the north side. Overall this defence measures 35m long, 13m wide and about 2m high. There is a simple entrance about 4m wide in its centre. The interior area enclosed is very small, approximately 50m north - south and 25m east - west. It is probably an Iron Age fort, but King has listed it as a possible medieval castle site. The site is under bracken. K Murphy 15 December 2005 - from various sources.'

Gatehouse Comments

The exact location of this documented C12?C13 castle is not known. Gatehouse has chosen to identify it with the Iron Age hill fort of Castell Moeddyn mainly for the convenience of giving it some provisional location, although the site is not an unreasonable location for a medieval llys of timber buildings, particularly if that llys was one mainly functioning as an administrative centre run by a bailiff.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN485519
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  • Rees, Wm, 1932, Map of South Wales and the Border in the 14th century (Ordnance Survey) (A handbook to the map was published in 1933)
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 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. 69 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Brut y Tywysogion (Several transcriptions and translations exist the best being Jones, T., 1952, Brut Y Twysogion (University of Wales, History and Law series 11)–based on the Peniarth MS 20 version. There is a flawed translation Williams ab Ithel, John, 1860, Brut Y Twysogion or The Chronicle of the Princes (Rolls Series) online copy)
  • Williams (ab Ithel), John, (ed), 1860, Annales Cambriae (444 – 1288) (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts) p. 49-50 online copy