Goytre Wood Motte

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

There are earthwork remains

NameGoytre Wood Motte
Alternative NamesCastell Goetre; Gwern Castle; Great Goytre
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent
CommunityCrucorney; Grosmont

Goytre Wood is a mound, c.20m in diameter and 4.0m high, ditched with remains of a counterscarp to the NE. It appears unusual for a castle site to be crossed by a community boundary. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). The site consist of a steep-sided flat-topped mound, 4m high with a slightly convex summit 10m in diameter. On the S side is a small ditch 1.5m wide and 1m deep beyond which is an area of hollows and undulations. On the N side there is a 2m wide ditch with an external bank 1.6m high. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive practices. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

This site is isolated from settlement and does not appear to have any particular strategic location although it's tactical position is strong. The map suggests a location more like that of a barrow. However, Phillips suggests, with conviction, that this is a 'watch tower' guarding a quarry (possibly that supplying stone for Grosmont, Llancillio and/or Abergavenny castles) and trackway. He additional suggest the tower made use of the quarry and was of masonry rather than timber.

- 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 ReferenceSO353233
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 243, 256 (listed twice)
  • Prior, Stuart, 2006, A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Tempus) p. 110-164
  • Phillips, Neil, 2006, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (British Archaeological Reports) p. 200-2
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 146
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing)
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 74 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 283
  • Coxe, W., 1801, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire (London) Vol. 1 plate facing p. 23 no text


  • 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


  • Phillips, Neil, 2005, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (PhD Thesis University of Sheffield) Download