Castell Moel Motte, Llangain

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameCastell Moel Motte, Llangain
Alternative NamesGreencastle
Historic CountryCarmarthenshire
Modern AuthorityCarmarthenshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

an earlier Green Castle. This was placed about 600 yards south of the present Green Castle, where, on a knoll commanding a far wider prospect than its successor, are still faintly traceable the lines of what was doubtless a mound-and-bailey castle. In the times of the Welsh princes the parish of Llangain consited of, or contained, a tract called Maenor Gain. This part of the county of Carmarthen seems to have passed early into the possession of the Normans, one of whom named Alfred Dryne (or Dryve), sometime during the episocate of Bernard of St. Davids (1115-1147) granted the prior and convert of St Peter, Carmarthen, a carucate of land in Egliskein, cum capella infra terminos ejusdem terrae sita (Inspeximus charter, 31 Hen. III), together with a carucate of land Pentewey (Pen Twyi). ('Pentewey' has been supposed to be Pentywyn in Llanstephan parish, near the mouth of the river Tav, but is more likely to have been the rising ground between the mound castle and the Tywi.) Maenor Gain became Manor Gain, and the mound castle on the summit of the hill above the Tywi was doubtless the caput of the manor. Somewhere about the 15th century the small lordship of Manor Gain passed into the hands of an English family called Rede, or Read, by one of whom the new castle was built. The name of Green Castle was continued, and the original site became 'the old castle,' which the neighbouring farm still bears. (RCAHMW 1917)

Gatehouse Comments

The Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER and David King report no traces remain although Jan Kohl has a photograph of a slight mound and there does appear to be some slight signs on the Google air photo. It may be that investigators were looking for the motte beside the farm rather than on the knoll some 50m north of the farm. If the slight markings on the air photo do represent the old motte than it appears to a circular feature about 20m in diameter, with a circular patch (c. 5m dia.) of darker vegitation in the centre, and, perhaps, the current field boundaries mark the site of one or two baileys to the east and west.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN395161
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  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 29
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 60 (where no remains reported)
  • RCAHMW, 1917, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Carmarthenshire (HMSO) p. 149 no. 443 online copy


  • Jones, F., 1991, ‘Annals of an old manor house: Green Castle', Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Vol. 27 p. 3-20
  • 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 (possible)