St Marys Old Church Motte

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameSt Marys Old Church Motte
Alternative NamesLlanfair Treflygen; Llandyfriog Castle
Historic CountryCardiganshire
Modern AuthorityCeredigion
1974 AuthorityDyfed

Castle mound: a ditched, flat-topped, roughly circular mound, 36m in diameter with a summit area 20m across, rising 5.0-6.2m above its generally 1.8m deep ditch: the mound has been mutilated by a deep trench driven across it from the ENE, where the ditch has been filled in to provide access - presumably thought to be a sepulchral mound. (source Os495card; SN34SW2) Can be associated with the ruined church, about 45m to the south-west (Nprn303778). J.Wiles 25.11.04 (Coflein)

A motte that has been flattened and is visible as stony patch (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a church, and of a motte and ditch, probably dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD) in origin and possibly inter-related, though the remains of the church as seen today may be rather more recent. 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. At the time of scheduling in 1949, Llandyfriog Castle Mound had been considerably damaged by the digging of a trench to ground level across it, and it was subsequently levelled (in 1980). It was formerly c.36m in diameter at its base and c.20m in diameter across its summit, and stood c.6m high above the base of a 5m-wide ditch, which extended c.1.8m below the level of the surrounding field. The position of the former motte is still visible as a stony spread and the site remains scheduled because archaeological material may still survive in the infilled ditch. The ruins of St Mary’s Church, also known as Llanfair Treflygen, are located c.45m to the south-west of the Castle Mound. The church, measuring c.12m by 6m, stands within a roughly rectangular enclosure measuring c.32m east-west by 30m, bounded by a low dry-stone wall c.1m high. The enclosure, or graveyard, has rounded corners, and the interior stands c.0.7m higher than the level of the surrounding field

The church, of mortared stone, stands to a maximum height of c.2m in the best-preserved south-east corner. Most of the south wall has fallen; the north wall stands to five courses (up to 0.8m) and the west wall to 1m, while the majority of the east wall has also collapsed. The interior of the church is strewn with stone fallen from the walls, but there is no obvious trace of any internal partitioning. The church is said to have fallen out of use in about 1800. (Scheduling Report)

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 ReferenceSN344442
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 234 (listed)
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 40
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 47 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 46


  • 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. 61 no. 19 online copy