Old Hall Camp

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameOld Hall Camp
Alternative NamesHuberts Folly; Castell Machaethlon; Old Hall Ffrydd; Old Hall Frydd; Stultita Huberti
Historic CountryMontgomeryshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

A fine camp circling an out -jutting spur of Kerry Hill, behind the farm of Old Hall. A comparatively modern hedge cuts it into two almost equal halves. Its interior measures 165 feet from north to south, by 135 feet from east to west. The summit of the hill was probably levelled, and its sides scarped ; making the averiige drop of 20 feet from the inner margin to the bottom of the ditch very sharp. The counterscarp is from 5 to 8 feet, and is also very abrupt. The western approach from the higher ground at the back is defended by a second bank and ditch, now almost entirelv obliterated. (RCAHMW)

An oval enclosure, 35m by 45m, an adapted natural knoll, defined by partial banks supplementing scarps, and a ragged ditch, the whole being 90m by 80m overall. Thought to be 'Hubert's folly', a castle commenced, but left incomplete in 1228. (Coflein)


In 1223 Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar and resolute defender of Chinon and Dover, had humbled LLywelyn ab Iorwerth of Gwynedd at Montgomery, where with the young King Henry III he had assembled an army and founded a new masonry castle, and before an intended punitive campaign was launched Llywelyn had submitted meekly. In 1228, however, when Hubert and the king advanced from Montgomery with a greatly augmented army, their confrontation with Llywelyn in the adjancent Vale of Kerry was a fiasco, and the justiciar's distinguished military career was tarnished.

Hubert's humiliation was magnified by his vain attempt to found another new castle, particularly as he had jocularly named it Hubert's Folly (Stultita Huberti). Before its completion he was compelled to slight it and retreat from Kerry. (Spurgeon, 2003)

Gatehouse Comments

Hubert almost certainly intended to build a significant masonry castle but did not progress beyond the ground works of the encirculing ditch, probably with a timber pallisade to protect the site and collected building materials. Spurgeon suggests a form like Grosmont Castle, refortified by Hubert in 1227, was the probably intended final form.

- 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 ReferenceSO206897
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 245 (listed)
  • Spurgeon, C.J., 2003, 'Hubert's Folly: the abortive castle of the Kerry campaign, 1228' in Kenyon, J.R. and O'Conor, K. (eds), The medieval castle in Ireland and Wales: essays in honour of Jeremy Knight (Dublin: Four Courts Press) p. 107-120
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 47 (plan)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 152
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 296, 301
  • Hogg, A.H.A., 1979, British Hillforts: an index (BAR, Oxford)
  • Spurgeon, C.J., 1972, Enclosures of Iron Age Type in the upper Severn Basin In Burgess, C. and Lynch, F., Prehistoric Man In Wales and the West (Adams & Dart, Bath) p. 321-44.
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 286
  • Fisher, J. (ed), 1917 Tours in Wales (1804-1813) by Richard Fenton (Cambrian Archaeological Association) online copy
  • RCAHMW, 1911, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Montgomeryshire (HMSO) p. 56 no. 286 online copy
  • Lloyd, J.E., 1912, History of Wales (London) Vol. 2 p. 668 online copy


  • Spurgeon, C.J., 1966, ‘The castles of Montgomeryshire’ Montgomeryshire Collections Vol. 59 p. 44-7 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
  • Spurgeon, C.J., 1962, 'Old Hall Camp, Kerry' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 2 p. 17
  • Hughes, I.T., 1923, 'The hill camps of Montgomeryshire east of the Severn"' Montgomeryshire Collections Vol. 40 p. 107 (plan only) online copy
  • Rowley-Morris, E., 1889, 'History of the parish of Kerry (continued)' Montgomeryshire Collections Vol. 23 p. 91, 353-69 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Luard, H.R. (ed), 1876, Matthæi Parisiensis: Monachi Santi Albani, Chronica Majora Vol. 3 p. 159 online copy