Llanidloes Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NameLlanidloes Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryMontgomeryshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

The motte dates from 1280, when Owain de la Pole was granted a charter for a market at Llanidloes. The town was laid out with a rectilinear plan, alongside the Severn. The palisade walls were completed with a motte forming the south side (town walls could often be defended by a strong fortification - ie Caernarvon). The motte is 30m across and 3m high, with an oval bailey 60m x 50m, now obscured underneath a health centre. Nearby streams indicate that the town ditch may have been waterfilled. (Dan Mersey, 2009, Castle of Wales website)

Supposed site of Llanidloes castle (motte and bailey) (O'Neil, B H St J, 1934). The natural topography of site dictates that SE end of bailey would be 3 to 4m higher than the top of the motte which must make this siting dubious. See also

Gatehouse Comments

Very much damaged in 1933 and completely destroyed by 1962. More recent reports from Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust cast doubt on this site but these seem to underestimate the damage done to the site. A statement that 'The natural topography of site dictates that SE end of bailey would be 3 to 4m higher than the top of the motte which must make this siting dubious' seems to be a statement by an individual who does not understand the diversity of castle forms (c.f. Arundel, Sussex) rather than evidence of an inaccurate report by the fine scholar B.H.St J. O'Neil. Much of Dan Mersey description, the source of which is unclear, is fanciful extension of received wisdom about castles and medieval defences and the dating of this motte from 1280 must be challenged. It certainly dates from the mid C12 at the latest and possibly earlier. Llanidleos and its church also presumably date from before the C12 although the presence of a castle may have helped the development of the community to the point where an official market charter was worth applying for. The charter was actually a confirmation of existing practice as Edward I was actively re-establishing royal rights - somewhat lost during the long reign of Henry III - particularly in Wales.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN954843
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 245 (listed)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 42
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 301


  • Spurgeon, C.J., 1966, ‘The castles of Montgomeryshire’ Montgomeryshire Collections Vol. 59 p. 26-7 online copy
  • 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
  • < >O'Neil, B.H.St J., 1934. ‘The castle and borough of Llanidloes’ Montgomeryshire Collections Vol. 43 p. 47-65 < > online copy


  • Gibson, A.M., 1996, Llanidloes Health Centre Extension: archaeological watching brief (CPAT report)
  • Silvester, R.J., 1992, Montgomeryshire Historic Settlements p. 102 (CPAT report) online copy