Martletwy Upper Castle and Hallwalls

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameMartletwy Upper Castle and Hallwalls
Alternative NamesLand of Green Ginger
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

The parish church of Martletwy may be a pre-conquest ecclesiastical foundation. It was granted, with a significant tract of land in the north of the parish, to the Knights Hospitaller at Slebech by the Lord of the Manor John FitzRaymond de Martletwy, during the 12th century. The remainder of the manor comprised one knight’s fee in 1362 when it was held of the barony. Place-name evidence may indicate the presence of a motte castle. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust Historic Landscape Characterisation Martletwy)

On a field called Upper Castle (Tithe Schedule, No. 184), some 300 yards north-west of the parish church, are two low circular mounds. That to the south has a circumference of 120 feet, and a height of 4 feet; it does not appear to have been disturbed. The second, about 25 yards to the north, is 150 feet in circumference and about 2 feet high. It has been slightly dug into from the summit. Both are grass covered, and are probably sepulchral. (RCAHMW)

What appears to be the remains of a large rectangular building represented by one wall, a corner and the remains of a terraced platform. Later cottages, (ruined) built over area. The owner is in the process of landscaping i.e. clearing rubble and re-pointing walls, A small area of rubble left adjacent to the wall of the large rectangular building has the possibility of original levels sealed beneath it. The site is south of Martletwy church and the place-name 'Hallewalles' is noted in 1681 (Picton castle deeds, NLW), all suggestive of a former Manor house. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Gatehouse can see no real reason to doubt the Commission view of these mounds as tumuli. The mounds are not shown on the OS map and are not obvious on air photo. Coflein record 22027 for Hallwalls at SN03331050 reads; 'Small building foundations with walls up to 1 metre high. Possibly ruins of 16th or 17th century manor house.' This is likely to be the site of the medieval manor house and knights residence. Upper Castle was probably a field name for a holding in the demense of this manor house. There is nothing to suggest a motte here or the manor being fortified. The term castle can be used in medieval documents and later documents for a unfortified administrative centre.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN030105
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  • RCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 218, 219 no. 661 and 663 online copy