Cottrell Motte

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Siege Work

There are earthwork remains

NameCottrell Motte
Alternative NamesCottrell Park Motte
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan
CommunitySt Nicholas And Bonvilston

A flat-topped circular mound, 20m in diameter and 1.8m high, with traces of an encircling ditch, possibly counterscarped. An episode of levelling and planting is recorded in 1862. (Coflein)

A motte 22m in diameter at the top, 35m in diameter at the base with a height of 1-2m. The outer ditch, with a marked counterscarp bank was probably originally a ringwork, the centre having been infilled. There is a slight indication that there may have been a bailey to the east. The relationship of this site to the more massive earthworks at Y gaer to the NE is uncertain. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). 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. Cottrell consists of a flat-topped mound 35m in diameter with the top measuring 21m in diameter. The sides are of varying height and steepness; on the west the side is 2.5m high with no ditch. On the north side it is 2m high with a 5m wide berm and then a further drop of 1.5m. The east side is less well defined, with a 2.2m height, then a 4m wide berm and a further 1m drop - this side is steep. The south side is less steep and measures 1.5m high with a ditch 1.5m wide by 1m deep outside it. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Commanding mound rising 1.7m to a summit 20-21m in diameter (although summit was levelled in C19). Now in a golf course so any understanding of the medieval terrain will be lost beneath the earthworks dedicated to the most egotistical and damaging pastime known to landscape archaeology (dissolute youths and metal detectorists don't take bulldozers to archaeological remains)

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceST080745
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 239 (listed)
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > MO1 p. 53-4
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 75 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 169
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 439


  • 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
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as siegework)
  • Clark, G.T., 1862, 'Account of the Parishes of St Nicholas and St Lythan, Co. Glamorgan.' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 17 p. 100 online copy