Alisby Castle, Crickhowell

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

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameAlisby Castle, Crickhowell
Alternative NamesCrucywel; Crug Hywel
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys
CommunityCrickhowell

The original Norman motte and bailey at Crickhowell was re-fortified with stone in the late C13 to early C14. Traces of a shell keep have been noted about the summit of an oval-shaped motte that is approximately 60m x 46m and 8m high. There are remains of a twin-towered gatehouse at its foot that opened onto a scarped forecourt, about 70m east-west and 16m deep, which has the ruins of two conjoined towers on the east. The court was set into a large bailey, about 90m by 64m across, its south and west sides followed by Castle Road. The Buck Brothers' view of 1741 shows that the bailey was originally walled, with at least three semi-circular towers. The castle was disused by the fifteenth century and subsequently pillaged for stone. (Coflein)

Situated to the SE of the High Street in Recreation Ground between Castle Road and Beaufort Street. The Castle, known as Alisby's Castle after Gerald Alisby the early to mid C14 governor, was formerly of Norman motte and bailey type. Rebuilt in late C13/early C14 by Sir Grimbald Pauncefote, disused in C15 and much pillaged since for local building. The masonry remains include an engaged round and rectangular random coursed rubble tower; crenellated parapet, narrow openings and early C14 ogee lancets with worn cusping. Various splayed openings to 3-storey and basement inner faces, fireplace at 1st floor level. View of 1893 shows the tower in more complete state. Part of the former circular gate tower to the motte remains in the slope to NW. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The complete lack of remains of the shell keep suggest this was earlier and built with a less good mortar than gatehouse. The gatehouse has had some walls demolished, from the base, in a way which will have allowed access to the valuable, imbedded, large timber floor joists but having got these it does not appear as though it was worth the effort to complete the demolition.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceSO217182
Latitude51.8575401306152
Longitude-3.13751006126404
Eastings321750
Northings218250
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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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

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Books

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 235, 370
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 53-4
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 24-5 (plan)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 13
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 72
  • Remfry, Paul, 1998, Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press) p. 162-5 (plan)
  • Burnham, H., 1995, A Guide to Ancient and Historic Wales: Clwyd and Powys (Cadw, London)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 18
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 345
  • Haslam, R.., 1979, Buildings of Wales: Powys (Yale University Press) p. 313
  • Oman, Charles W.C., 1926, Castles (1978 edn Beetham House: New York) p. 169
  • Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 504 (Reprint of 1876 Arch. Camb. article) online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy
  • Buck, Samuel and Nathenial, 1774, Buck’s Antiquities (London) Vol. 2 p. 354

Journals

  • Guy, Neil et al, 2008/9, 'Abergavenny Castle' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 22 p. 31-2 (slight)
  • Redwood, P., 1997, 'Crickhowell Manor in 1587' Brycheiniog Vol. 29 p. 15-38 online copy
  • Locock, M. and Marvell, A.G., 1995, 'Crickhowell, Dan-y-Parc' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 35 p. 33
  • Locock. M., 1994. ‘Crickhowell Castle’. Archaeology in Wales Vol. 34 p. 61
  • 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
  • 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
  • King, D.J.C., 1961, ‘The castles of Breconshire’ Brycheiniog Vol. 7 p. 76-7 no. 4 online copy
  • Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • Clark, George Thomas, 1876, 'Tretower, Blaen Llyfni and Crickhowel Castles' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 31 p. 283-4 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 103-4

Other

  • Locock. M., 1994. Archaeological Field Evaluation Alidby's Castle. Crickhowell. Powys (GGAT)
  • Silvester, R.J. and Dorling, P.J., 1993, Historic settlements in the Brecon Beacons National Park (CPAT report)
  • Owen, W.G., 1992. Archaeological Evaluation of Play Area at Crickhowell Castle. Powys (CPAT report)