Ballan Moor; The Berries

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBallan Moor; The Berries
Alternative NamesCrick; Ballan Mount; Mount Ballan
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

A sub-rectangular enclosure, c.98m NNE-SSW by 82m, defined by a bank and ditch, with a c.20m diameter ditched mound at the NE angle. This site is of similar size and plan to Caldicot castle, c.1.0km to the S, which occupies a similar setting. (Coflein)

low lying motte and bailey that may have been the creation of the Ballon family in c1086-1106. (Salter)

'The shape and size of the motte makes it a strong defensible structure and there is good evidence that the motte was defended from the bailey, giving the motte its private fortification function. The large bailey would have been big enough to house a small garrison, ideal for an early offensive castle. It is possible that the bailey was a pre-existing site, possibly some form of pre-Norman settlement.' (Phillips)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. The site consists of a large steep-sided mound, 6m to 7m high in the NE corner of a roughly circular bailey. The motte has a flat summit and is surrounded by a flat-bottomed ditch varying between 2m and 4m wide and 1m to 2m deep. The bailey is cut on the W side by a deep modern drainage ditch. On the S side the bailey is defined by a low bank, 0.6m high on the outside and 0.2m high on the inside. On the N side there is a short stretch of bank, 0.5m-1m high, immediately W of the ditch surrounding the motte. On the SE side the bank is 1.5m high. Half way along the E side is a gap in the bank and a causeway across the ditch. The to N of the causeway the bank is 3m high and terminates at the ditch surrounding the motte. (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 ReferenceST488895
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 242 (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. 255-6
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 146
  • 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. 282
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker)
  • Bradney, J.A., 1906, History of Monmouthshire Vol. 4 p. 140


  • 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
  • Scott-Garrett, C., 1950-51, 'The Berries, Crick, Mon' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 101 p. 163-5
  • Taylor, A.J., 1948-49, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 100 p. 163-4


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