Stow Hill Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NameStow Hill Motte
Alternative NamesNewport; Casnewydd; Twyn Gwnlliw; Ywyn Gwynlliw; Castleton
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityNewport
1974 AuthorityGwent
CommunityStow Hill

Motte, supposedly of 1100 buried in tunnel spoil in the 1840's. 'it was a circular mound with a flat top some 50 feet in diameter and surrounded by a ditch' (Banks quoted in Phillips)

Twyn Gwynlliw stood very near the church of St. Wollos; the extension of the town of Newport in that direction has, I believe, occasioned its removal. (Wakeman)

According to tradition, Newport developed following St. Gwynllyw’s foundation of a church at the top of Stow Hill in the late fifth or early sixth century, though there is no evidence to support this claim. It appears that there was a Welsh settlement, with some Saxon influences, on the site by the tenth century, and following the Norman Conquest of England Robert de Hay is believed to be responsible for the construction of the motte on Stow Hill around which the town grew at the lowest point on the River Usk. Newport Castle was completed in the mid- to late-fourteenth century, and a town charter of 1427 confirmed its status as a market town which controlled the river crossing. (Coflein)

Gatehouse Comments

Probably the original castle of Newport. Wakeman's comment "very near" suggests the given map reference may be inaccurate. St Wollos is now Newport Cathedral and is at ST308875 some 400m from the map reference given in the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER. A location nearer the church (adjancent or with 100m) would be more usual.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST304874
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • 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. 275-6
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press)
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 24
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 289
  • Evans, J., and Britton, J., 1810, The Beauties of England and Wales: or Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive, of Each County Vol. 11 (London) p. 121 (as barrow)
  • Coxe, W., 1801, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire (London) Vol. 1 p. 55


  • Churchyard, T., 1587 (reprint 1776), The Worthines of Wales, A Poem (London: Thomas Evans) p. 50


  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 208 online copy
  • Banks, R.W., 1886, 'Some Account of the History and Descent of the Lordship Marcher or County of Wentllwch, as it was Called in Early Times, and Which is in the Present Day Designated as the Modern Hundred of Wentllwch or Wentloog' Proceedings of the Monmouth and Caerleon Antiquarian Association p. 21
  • Wakeman, T., 1855, 'Prehistoric Remains in Monmouthshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 10 p. 123 online copy

Guide Books

  • Mentioned in anonymous and undated sheet produced by Newport Museum and Art Gallery


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