Cwm Meurig Isaf

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCwm Meurig Isaf
Alternative NamesCastell Ystrad–Meurig; Castell Pridd
Historic CountryCardiganshire
Modern AuthorityCeredigion
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunityYstrad Fflur

Small medieval motte, surrounded by a ditch. This is probably the original castle at Ystrad Meurig, built in the early 12th century by the Normans and destroyed c.1137. A stronger castle was built after this close to the present village of Ystrad Meurig. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

A steep-sided, flat-topped circular, apparently ditched mound, about 23m in diameter & 5.0m high, having a 10m diameter summit area, showing the clear scar of an excavation trench on the east; possible indications of a curvilinear enclosure, roughly 40-50m across, on the north: there is no evidence to support the suggestion that this site represents the original castle of Ystrad Meurig, predecessor of the complex enclosure, 1.5km to the west (Nprn300842). (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, 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, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. This site is a steep-sided, flat-topped circular mound, c.23m in diameter and c.5.0m high, with a summit c.10m in diameter showing the clear scar of an excavation trench on the east. The mound is surrounded by a ditch c.0.5m deep. There are possible indications of a curvilinear enclosure, roughly 40-50m across, on the north. It has been suggested, with no clear evidence, that this might represent a precursor to the more complex castle site (SAM CD032) 1.6km to the west. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

There is no reason for the original administrative castle to be sited away from settlement and the road network. This motte likely to be a mound showing the knightly status as a tenant rather than the administrative centre of the commote.

- 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 ReferenceSN718677
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  • Davis, Paul R., 2007, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Y Lolfa) p. 83 (mention)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 41
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 42
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing)
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 45
  • Davis, Paul R., 1988, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Swansea)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 45
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 242-3


  • 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. 56 no. 7 online copy