Nant yr Arian Castle

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NameNant yr Arian Castle
Alternative NamesOld Goginan Castle; Castell Goginan
Historic CountryCardiganshire
Modern AuthorityCeredigion
1974 AuthorityDyfed

There is a tradition that a medieval castle may have existed in the Nantyrarian area. The site may be that of an Iron Age promontory fort PRN2026, to which an apparent barbican has been added. This may be a site alluded to in this district in 1216. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

Nant yr Arian. This castle is only mentioned once–in 1216–and only in one text of the Brut. There is a farmstead of that name in Melindwr parish, SN715814, whose position–in the bottom of a deep and narrow valley–is useless for defence. Two castellau are marked in the vicinity of these, that at Cwmbrwyno, SN708809, is a natural crag, while that at Goginan-fach, SN693818, is of large area with no very strong defences. (King, 1956) - However in 1963 King and Hogg identified as Old Coginan at SN688818 (but without further detail)

About the year 1840, a similar mound to these had to be removed to make way for extending the ore-dressing floors at the Goginan lead mines, near Aberystwyth. This was done under the superintendence of the late Geo. Fawcett, Esq., the head manager of the extensive mines worked by John Taylor and Sons. Being determined to ascertain whether this was a sepulchral mound or not, he caused two levels to be driven right through it, under his own immediate direction, as now described to me by one of the miners who worked in one of the levels. He says the whole mound was composed entirely of earth, scarcely a stone a pound in weight, and (they) were sadly disappointed at not finding any relics of the supposed dead (Owen)

Gatehouse Comments

Presuambly King became aware of Owen's paper. The description in Owen is certainly consistent with a motte.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN690817
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. 252 (listed twice as possible)
  • Davis, Paul R., 2007, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Y Lolfa) p. 84
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 44
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 55
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 47 (slight)
  • Davis, Paul R., 1988, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Swansea)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 49, 564
  • Owen, Henry (ed), 1936, The Description of Pembrokeshire (London) Vol. 4 p. 490-1
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 284 online copy


  • Thorburn, J., 1987, ‘Castell Goginan, Melindwr’, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 27 p. 55
  • 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
  • Owen, Edward, 1903, 'Ancient British camps, etc., in Lleyn, co. Carnarvon' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 58 p. 259-60 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Brut y Tywysogion 1216 (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)