Pen y Clawdd Castle, Crucorney

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

There are earthwork remains

NamePen y Clawdd Castle, Crucorney
Alternative NamesLlantilio Pertholey; Penyclawdd Court
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

A sub-circular ditched mound, c.28-30m in diameter and 2.4m high, without which on the N & W are two banks either side of a wet moat, the top of these banks are approximatly level with the summit of the mound, & it is suggested that this has been subject to landscaping (see Nprn401612); on the SE are the house, enclosures & outbuildigs of Pen-y-Clawdd Court (Nprn20628, 43337); together these features appear to be set within a poorly defined subrectangular enclosure, c.150m NNW-SSE by 135m. (Coflein)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). The motte comprises a circular steep-sided mound 30m in diameter and up to 2.2m high. The summit is flat and measures 22m in diameter. A 4m wide ditch surrounds the motte, but has been built over on the S and E sides. Outside the ditch is a flat, steep-sided bank 3m high and 4m wide. Outside the bank there is a further 4m wide ditch. Outside the outer ditch is a further bank, 2m high on the outside. An excavation carried out on the site revealed walls on the summit of the motte. (Scheduling Report)

Phillips writes 'Penyclawdd should be reassessed as a later fortified house thereby removing it from the list of motte and bailey castles.' (p103) However he does also state that 'excavations revealed a possibility that a motte and bailey castle may have pre-dated the present mound. This possibility is suggested by the depth of the encircling ditch coupled with the potential of the existence of a bailey as suggested by the bank south of the barn complex' (p298) The excavation suggests 'that the mound once supported a large rectangular masonry structure which suffered fire damage' although this building was dated to the C13.

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 ReferenceSO309200
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 243 (listed)
  • 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. 103, 296-8 also excavation report downloadable at same site.
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 146
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 285
  • Bradney, J.A., 1904-33, History of Monmouthshire Vol. 1 p. 211


  • Phillips, N., 2002, 'Llanfihangel Crucorney. A. Pen y Clawdd castle mound' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 42 p. 128-31
  • 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