Rockfield Farm Motte, Llangwm Isaf

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameRockfield Farm Motte, Llangwm Isaf
Alternative NamesNew House
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

A well-preserved ringwork, with raised interior, consists of an oval bank about 10m wide and up to 2.4m high above an external ditch and with overall dimensions of some 55m across. Overgrown with trees. (Coflein)

The site at Llangwm Isaf is difficult to assess as it may represent multiple phasing. The interpretation of the site, based on actual remains, topographical survey and location suggests the following possibilities:

The site may be a re-used pre-historic site due to the location and the shape of the earthwork.

The site may have been adapted as an early period watch-tower, or a guard post for the quarry. The absence of a bailey wouldn’t be a problem as the enclosed area would be large enough to accommodate supplies and horses for a small garrison.

The site may also be a late period fortified-site suggested by the size of the mound’s top surface area and the lack of any real defence. There is no satisfactory way given the available information to assign a period to this earthwork.

Dating of the site is difficult as it would be dictated by any of the above combinations therefore this site must remain undated at present. (Phillips 2005)

The monument comprises the remains of a well preserved castle-ringwork, which dates to the medieval period (c. AD 1066 - 1485). The ringwork is located on a small hilltop and consists of a circular flat-topped mound, 45m in diameter at the base and 24m across the summit. The summit of the mound is encircled by a steep-sided bank, 1m high on the inside and 2m high on the outside. On the NE is a 4m wide break in the bank which could have been an entrance. There is an external ditch surrounding the ringwork, it is 2m wide and 1m deep, and extends around the N, S and E sides of the castle mound. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

May have more to do with the hunting forest of Usk Castle, possibly as the site of a foresters house.

- 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 ReferenceSO424011
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 244 (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. 240-1
  • 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. 285


  • 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


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