Llangibby Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Other/Unknown Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle, and also as a Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameLlangibby Motte
Alternative NamesThe Bowling Green; Llangybi; Tregrug
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

A low and level bank, c.44-48m in diameter, set about the interior of a sub-oval, ditched and counterscarped enclosure, is thought to represent a bowling green established on the earthworks of a castle. There is an outer ditched enclosure, c.60m N-S by 46m, on the E. Castle first mentioned c.1262, believed to have been superceded by Llangiby Castle in early C14. The earthwork was planted as part of the grounds of Llangibby House. (Coflein)

Between the castle & the road is a mound considered to have been an outpost of the castle, consisting of ca.1 acre of ground surrounded by a dry moat. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). The motte consists of a circular mound, 80m in diameter at the base and 3.5m high, with a flat summit, 40m in diameter, enclosed by a low bank. The mound is surrounded by a steep-sided ditch and bank. The bank surrounding the summit is up to 0.8m high on the inside. The surrounding ditch is 2m wide and between 2m and 4m deep, and the outer bank is up to 1.5m high. The ditch and outer bank are not present on the N side of the mound, and may have been backfilled and truncated during the construction of the adjacent farm track. On the NW side there is a gap in the bank surrounding the summit, while on the SE side there is a gap in the outer bank. The motte is thought to be the forerunner of the 13th century Llangibby Castle (MM109), located 400m to the W. On 19th century maps the summit of the motte is described as a bowling green indicating that the top of the mound may have been levelled. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Marked as motte and bailey on OS map. D.J.C. King considered this as the precursor to Llangibby castle. The earthworks are extensively damaged and interpretation is difficult. Phillips suggests that the features of the earthwork suggest a late fortified site and that this site may have been a replacement of the unfinished Llangibby castle. Llangibby castle was besieged during the Civil War and the earthworks may have been used and altered at that time. Excavation would be required for a better interpretation of the site.

- 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 ReferenceST369973
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  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 169
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 242 (listed twice)
  • Kenyon, J.R., 2008, 'Masonry Castles and Castle-building' in R. Griffiths, T. Hopkins and R. Howell (eds), The Gwent County History (Cardiff: University of Wales Press) Vol. 2 The Age of the Marcher Lords, c. 1070-1536 p. 89-114
  • 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. 236-7
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 131
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 21
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 285
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 362


  • 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 (survived into C13 without being rebuilt in stone)
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • 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
  • Perks, J. and King, D.J.C., 1956, 'Llangibby Castle' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 105 p. 99-100


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