Chepstow Park Wood Earthwork, Devauden

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork), and also as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameChepstow Park Wood Earthwork, Devauden
Alternative Names
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

A circular enclosure, c.20m in diameter, defined by a bank, ditch and counterscarp, c.52m overall diameter. The ruins within the enclosure are thought to be comparatively recent. Remains within, of a 16.5m ENE-WSW by 7.0m range, depicted as ruinous on OS County series. (Coflein–as Motte and Bailey? Medieval?)

This earthwork, with moat, and outer walls of buildings, is still in existence and is clearly defined. (SS Reviser 1949). The earthwork on a hill near a spring in Chepstow Park Wood is roughly circular in shape. This is now seen to be a Medieval ring-motte with the remains of a stone building within. (Ibid 1954). A grass and tree covered ring motte which consists of a circular mound surrounded by a ditch with an outer bank. Around the periphery of the mound are the remains of a weak inner bank which averages 3.0m to 4.0m wide with an average internal height of 0.4m. The average overall width of the outer bank and ditch is 12.0m. The ditch is dry except for a small stream which issues from a well in the west and which flows through a probably comparatively modern break in the outer bank. The bottom of the ditch is not very level and it seems doubtful if it was constructed to hold water. In the interior of the motte are the roofless remains of a stone building whose ivy-covered walls are 0.6m thick and are up to 20.m high. The walls are comprised of neatly laid, selected stone and the building appears comparatively modern. No trace was found of an original entrance to the motte. (DE 1958) OS Record Card. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved medieval moated homestead. The site lies in the middle of a large wood. It consists of a circular area, 50m in diameter, enclosed by a ditch and bank. The bank, which is on the outside, is 0.8m high on the outside and 2.5m high on the inside, while the ditch is 3m wide and 2m deep

The ditch and bank peter out on the S side of the site, where there is a shallow water-logged ditch. The interior is flat with a low bank around its edge on the W and N sides. In the centre are the remains of a rectangular building measuring approximately 16m long by 4m wide, comprising 3 rooms and a passageway. The building is sunk into the ground, and its stone walls stand to around 2m high. Part of the structure is thought to date to the 19th century and have functioned as a shooting box. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Set within a medieval deer park, now woodland. Possibly a foresters lodge or hunting lodge. Missed by the usual castle gazetteers despite being suggested as a ring-motte in 1954. Was this because the site was not reported and the isolated location kept it hidden or because it was known to the usual authors (i.e David King) and dismissed out of hand as a moated site and not a castle?

- 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 ReferenceST490979
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 256 (listed as possible)