Llanfair Discoed Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLlanfair Discoed Castle
Alternative NamesLlanvair Discoed
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

In the grounds of a house above the church are the overgrown fragments of a castle. The cylindrical towers suggest a date in the C13, when the FitzPayn family held the lordship followed by the Monthermers by the end of the century. The best preserved tower is at the SE angle, and the stretch of straight wall joining it to the W has robbed operlings a first-floor hall or chamber was sited here, protected by a ditch and bank to the S. Further W, a smaller tower on a flared base, from which a solid wall runs N-wards. This probably connected with the remains of the apparently free-standing tower immediately to the W, and formed part of a twin-towered gateway. The flat inner court to the N is further defined only by a high, featureless chunk of wall on its E side. (Salter, 1991)

The ruins of Llanfair Discoed Castle are of a roughly quadrangular mansion, best preserved on the south-west front and framed by two round angle towers. On the north-eastern side there appears to have been a walled forecourt. There is a detached circular tower with a 7m internal diameter, possibly a dovecote, about 18m to the west. (Coflein)

The monument consists of the remains of a castle, dating to the medieval period. The castle is located on the W edge of the village of Llanfair Discoed, immediately W of the churchyard. It is thought to date from the 13th century, when the FitzPayn family held the Lordship of Llanfair Discoed. The castle is now incorporated into the garden of a modern house. The remains of the castle comprise three round towers, stretches of curtain wall on the S, E and W sides, and an internal section of walling. Along the S side of the site, the curtain wall stands to a height of 10m on the outside and 5m high on the inside. The wall retains much of its facing stone, although some sections have been lost from the lower half of the structure. In the centre of the wall is an opening, possibly for a staircase with a lancet window

There are corner towers at each end of the S curtain wall, with the SE tower surviving to a height of 14m with most of its facing stone in place. Inside the tower measures 3m in diameter. There are traces of three floors within the tower, with an entrance at ground floor level and another doorway above. There are two tapered slit windows at ground floor level and a third which has been blocked, and additional windows on the upper levels. The top part of the tower was built from a different stone to the rest of the structure, and is likely to be the result of rebuilding or redesign. There is a doorway from this upper level, on the W side, out onto the wall walk on the curtain wall. The curtain wall continues N from the SW corner tower, and stands to a height of 4m. An isolated round tower, 3m high, is located to the W of the SW corner tower, detached from the curtain wall. Below the curtain wall and the towers on the S side is a ditch and an outer bank. The bank is uneven, 1-2m high, and outside it the ground drops steeply down to a small vale below. The bank and ditch extend out into a grass field on the E side and into the modern garden on the W side. Running E/W across the middle of the site are the discontinuous remains of a thick wall, 1.5m wide. The W section is 1.8m high, to the E of which is an entrance 2.5m wide, beyond which the wall continues again. To the E of the entrance the wall stands 3.5m high. This could be the remains of a building within the castle ward. (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 ReferenceST445924
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  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Morgan and Wakeman, 1863, 'Notes on Wentwood' Proceedings of the Monmouth and Caerleon Antiquarian Association p. 34-6


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