Gwern y Domen

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameGwern y Domen
Alternative NamesDomen Bedwas, Van Castle
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityCaerphilly
1974 AuthorityMid Glamorgan

What appears to be a natural mound has been scarped, ditched and counterscarped, producing a mound, truncated on the S by a disused railway, presently c.40m in diameter and 3.5m high, with a rampart about the summit defining a sub-circular area, c.18-20m in diameter. The mound has been used as a setting for ornamental planting and the summit enclosure has reputedly served as a cockpit. (Coflein)

The mound stands in a marshy field, butting onto a disused railway line on its SW side. It is a large steep sided mound. (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. The motte stands in a marshy field, butting onto a disused railway line on its south-west side. It is a large steep sided mound, 30m in diameter, c. 5m high. The top is flat, 20m in diameter, with a lip up to 2m high on the south side, 1m high on the north side. On the east side at the foot of the mound is a flat berm, c.4m wide, with a drop of c. 0.5m to the marshy field. This continues round to the north, where it is more bank like, until it is cut off by a field ditch. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Although a railway was driven through the heart of this castle the earthworks seem to have survived remarkably well. A bailey also survives.

- 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 ReferenceST175878
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 239 (listed)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 11
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > CR9 p. 102-4
  • 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. 170
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 441
  • Alcock, L., 1963, Dinas Powis (University of Wales Press) p. 214


  • 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