Foel Las Motte, Pentrefoelas

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameFoel Las Motte, Pentrefoelas
Alternative NamesFoel; Voelas; Llanfair Rhyd; Hen Foelas; Y Foelas; Castell Coch
Historic CountryDenbighshire
Modern AuthorityConwy
1974 AuthorityClwyd

Thought to be a scarped natural hill: an oval mound, c.35m NW-Se by 30m and 7.5m high, having a level summit, 20 NW-SE by 12m, set within an irregular scarped area, c.90m NW-SE by 54m, the whole damaged by quarrying on the NE. (Coflein)

A motte 7.5m high created by scarping a natural hill. Possible bailey to south. Incomplete traces of ditch on north and west sides. Nant y Foel river to east. Spurgeon considers there to be no trace of a bailey at this site (Manley, J, Grenter, S & Gale, F, 1991, pp171). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Large complex of earthworks, the result of scarping a natural hill, set within private woodland on W. bank of Nant-Y-Foel, 700 M. N.N.W. of Pentrefoelas. The motte 23 M. N.W. - S.E. and 10 M. S.W. - N.E. has a kidney-shaped form at least partly enhanced by slip of its fine gravel composition towards the river, 10 M. below, on the east side. An irregular hollow occupies its centre. On the other three sides it slopes steeply down to a terrace or outer enclosure between 6.5 M. and 32 M. from the base of the motte to the point where it falls away-to a narrow incomplete ditch on the N.W. side, a series of terraces and a shallow ditch on the south west side, and to a farm track and river meadow on the S.E. and E. The river skirts the base of the earthworks to the north, possibly originally also skirting them on the east, having switched its course further to the east. To the west of the earthworks and footpath/track a former mill-pool was probably associated with the farm buildings to the south west. The site of a former grange/Manor House may lie to the south, fragments of which may be incorporated in Foelas Uchaf Farm. (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 ReferenceSH870522
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  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 69
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 120
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles of North Wales (Malvern) p. 87 (slight)
  • Burnham, H., 1995, A Guide to Ancient and Historic Wales: Clwyd and Powys (Cadw, London)
  • Manley, J., Grenter, S. and Gale, F., 1991, The Archaeology of Clwyd p. 171
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus)
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 373
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 228
  • RCAHMW, 1914, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Denbighshire (HMSO) p. 174 no. 606 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • 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
  • 1939, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 94 p. 144