Castell Aberlleiniog

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Uncertain

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Aberlleiniog
Alternative NamesCastell Llienawg; Aberllienawg; Castle in Anglesey; Castell Leiniog
Historic CountryAnglesey
Modern AuthorityAnglesey
1974 AuthorityGwynedd
CommunityLlangoed

Castell Aberlleiniog is a medieval castle mound which has the ruins of a mid seventeenth century fort set upon its summit. The castle was traditionally built by Hugh, Earl of Chester in 1088-90. It has no recorded history following its destruction soon after until Thomas Cheadle, Constable of Beaumaris, built the fort during the disturbances of the mid seventeenth century. This is a steep sided generally circular mound, roughly 50m across and 5.4m high. The ditch is about 16m wide and 1.2m deep. The level summit is now roughly 25-27m square following the later building. Traces of a bailey have been identified on the south side above the Afon-y-Brenhin valley, where two small mounds, 40m apart, are thought to be the remains of its ramparts. The earthworks would have been modified to some degree when the fort was built. The fort is a square structure with its corners oriented on the cardinal points. It is 18-19m across overall with broad ramparts, 2.5-5.0m wide, fronted by a narrow wall rising to a parapet roughly 2.5m high. At each corner was a round tower about 4.0m in diameter, each equipped with three small rectangular openings. The enclosure walls all have three evenly spaced buttresses, except for the south-east face, where the main entrance is located. There is a small doorway in the north-west wall. A much smaller castle mound stands at the mouth of the Lleiniog some 500m to the east (NPRN 302828). Source: RCAHM Anglesey Inventory (1938), 123-4 The site is now scheduled for restoration with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant - Western Mail 2007. (Coflein–John Wiles 13.07.07)

The castle is attributed to Hugh (Lupus) of Avranches, Earl of Chester, and thought to have been raised in 1088-90. Surmounting the mound is a late Medieval stone structure, originally with circular tower on all of its 4 corners, now only 3 remain. Also known as Lady Cheadles Castle, the structure was thought to have been used during the Civil War

The battlements have probably been restored; the W corner bastion has a serious crack, and part may fall shortly. The site is overgrown with tall trees and vegetation.

C11 mound rising to a square platform, c50m² with retaining walls of rubble masonry with round corner bastions (only 3 of which now remain). Each bastion had 3 rectangular loops with splayed reveals. On the NW side is a projecting garde-robe formed by rough corbels supporting a stone slab. Each side wall of battlements has 3 buttresses which are additions to the original structure, but may be replacements of earlier ones.

Listed as a substantially intact late medieval fortification which surmounts an earlier mound. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

What is the nature and function of the tower on the motte? Park feature? artillery fort? folly? What is its date? late medieval as stated in the listing report or early C18 as stated by Morgan (2009)?

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSH616793
Latitude53.2925910949707
Longitude-4.07721996307373
Eastings261630
Northings379300
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by David Swift All Rights Reserved
Photo by David Swift All Rights Reserved
Photo by David Swift All Rights Reserved
Photo by David Swift All Rights Reserved
Photo by David Swift All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print

Books

  • Wyatt, D., 2013, ‘The Welshman, the Irishman and the Viking – Aberlleiniog Castle’, in H. V. Bowen (ed.), Buildings and places in Welsh history: a new history of Wales (Llandysul: Gomer Press) p. 42-50 (slight - mainly on a 1098 battle)
  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 173
  • Kenyon, John, 2010, The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press) p. 11
  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 168, 273
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 231 (listed)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 7
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles of North Wales (Malvern) p. 26
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 27
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 2
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 322
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 84
  • RCAHMW, 1937, An inventory of the ancient monuments in Anglesey (HMSO) p. 123-4 no. 5 online copy
  • Lowe, W. Bezant, 1927, The Heart of North Wales (Llanfairfechan) Vol. 2 p. 218-26
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 260-1 online copy
  • Lloyd, J.E., 1912, A History of Wales: From the Norman Invasion to the Edwardian Conquest (Barnes and Noble) p. 392
  • Jones, A. (ed), 1910, History of Gruffyd ap Cynan (Manchester) p. 133, 138-9 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Purton, Peter, 2012, 'The first private castles at war' Château Gaillard Vol. 25 p. 307-14
  • Morgan, T., 2010, ‘Castell Aberlleiniog motte and bailey, Anglesey: excavations and observation 2004-2009’ Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions p. 43-64
  • Morgan, T., 2009, ‘Castell Aberlleiniog, Anglesey: excavations and observation 2004-2009’ Archaeology in Wales Vol. 49 p. 25-32
  • Williams, T.P.T. and Hughes, L., 2008 (issued 2010), 'Aber Lleiniog' Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society p. 19-33
  • Smith, S., 2004, 'Castell Aberlleiniog, Anglesey and Cronk Howe Mooar, Isle of Man: related monuments?' Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society p. 31-45
  • Kenyon, John R., 1996, 'Fluctuating Frontiers: Normanno-Welsh Castle Warfare c. 1075 to 1240' Château Gaillard Vol. 17 p. 119-126
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • King, D.J.C., 1964, 'Aber Lleiniog' Programme of the 111th Annual Meeting at Llangefni, 1964, CAA p. 18-19
  • 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
  • 1930, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 85
  • Holme, 1925-6, Landudno Field Club Vol. 12 p. 23-31
  • H.L.J(ones), 1848, 'Mona Mediaeva' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 3 p. 143-6 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Jones, Arthur (ed), 1910, History of Gruffydd ap Cynan (Manchester) p. 133, 138-9 online copy