Talley Mound

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameTalley Mound
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCarmarthenshire
Modern AuthorityCarmarthenshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

The earthworks of a medieval castle occupy the isthmus between the two Talley Lakes and face across the Upper Lake to the ruins of Talley Abbey, 0.5km to the south (NPRN 92750). By the time of the OS County series 1st edition (Carmarthen. XXV.4 1888) the castle site had been planted with conifers to serve as an ornamental tree clump. The earthworks occupy a roughly oval 0.5m high platform, about 82m east-west by 56m. At the centre rises a circular MOTTE or castle mound, 30m in diameter and some 4.0m high. Ditches separate the mound from a crescentic bailey enclosure on the east side and a smaller outwork on the west. The mound would originally have carried a timber framed tower, the centrepiece of the castle, and the bailey would have enclosed a lordly hall and other offices. The castle has no known history, however, it was probably the centre of a great estate or lordship, possibly extending across Caio commote. Although the pairing of castle and Abbey across the Upper Lake seems deliberate, it is likely that the castle fell out of use with the foundation of the Abbey in 1184-9, when its lands are likely to have been transferred. (Coflein)

Possibly not a motte castle. Alternatives may be as a crannog or having a natural origin. Apparently excavated by David Long Price, steward of Talley manor, in 19th century (without result?). (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period and situated on an isthmus between the two lakes, facing across the upper lake to the ruins of Talley Abbey. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). The earthworks at Talley occupy a roughly oval 0.5m high platform measuring about 82m east-west by 56m at the centre of which is the motte; c 30m in diameter and c 5.0m high

Ditches c 0.4m deep separate this from the bailey on the east and another smaller outwork on the west. (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 ReferenceSN631333
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 236 (listed)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 58
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 41
  • 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. 60
  • RCAHMW, 1917, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Carmarthenshire (HMSO) p. 263 no. 746 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
  • Allen, J.R., 1893, 'Suggestions for an Archaeological Survey of Wales' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 48 p. 89 online copy