Y Gaer, St Nicholas

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameY Gaer, St Nicholas
Alternative NamesCottrell Ringwork; Coed y Cwm
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan
CommunitySt Nicholas And Bonvilston

Fine, large raised ringwork surrounded by a ditch, with a causeway across the south side. The outline of a rectangular bailey is found to the south. (Salter, 1991)

An oval enclosure, c.46m NE-SW by 40m, defined by a strong bank and ditch, having a SE-facing entrance, opening onto a poorly defined rectilinear enclosure, c.90m NW-SE by 66m. (Coflein)

A ring motte 48m in diameter with a bank 1.5m high, and surrounded with a ditch 1.5m deep. To the S, is a roughly rectangular bailey 80m long by 60m wide. Good defensive site with raised interior but no sign of internal buildings; bailey discounted as glacial terrace. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER–ref. RCAHMW 1991)

The monument comprises the remains of an Iron Age (800BC-AD74) defended enclosure. It consists of two oval concentric enclosures, separated by a space of approximately 10m. The inner enclosure measures 65m long from east to west by 50m, the outer measures 120m long by about 105m. Each enclosure is defended by a single bank which has been reduced to a scarp except on the eastern and western sides of the inner circuit and on the north-west of the outer circuit. The banks are 10.5 to 12m wide. The internal height of the banks is slight except on the north-west of the outer circuit where it reaches 1.5m. The external bank height averages nearly 2.5m. A shallow external ditch 6-9m wide is visible along part of the western side. The entrance through both ramparts is on the north; the inner entrance appears to be slightly in-turned but its western side is disturbed. A stony hollow at the centre of the enclosures is probably the site of a building which is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1813. (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 ReferenceST084747
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 240, 255 (listed twice)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 111
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 203
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > CR20 p. 129-32
  • 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
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 151
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 446


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Alcock, L. (Talbot, E.J.), 1965, Morgannwg Vol. 9 p. 95 online copy
  • Alcock, L. (Talbot, E.J.), 1964, Morgannwg Vol. 8 p. 69-70 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
  • Clark, G.T., 1862, 'Account of the Parishes of St Nicholas and St Lythan, Co. Glamorgan' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 17 p. 100 online copy