Castell Coch, Ystradfellte

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry footings remains

NameCastell Coch, Ystradfellte
Alternative NamesStratmelthin; Mellte Castle
Historic CountryBrecknockshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys
CommunityYstradfellte

Castle, taking its name from the red sandstone of which it is built, lies on a promontory about 9m high between the Afon Llia and Afon Dringarth in a remote position on the south side of the Brecon Beacons. The only historical reference to it is in 1239 when it was held by William de Braose. The southern end of the promontory has beneath a tangle of vegetation the last vestiges of a wall about 1.5m thick around a pentangular court about 27m wide. Adjoining the west wall and occupying much of the rectangular northern part of the court is a keep about 16m long by 12m wide. At the NE corner are signs of a recessed gateway. The southern part of the court tapers to an acute angle which was occupied by a round tower about 13m in internal diameter, large enough to form a second keep. The layout and poor quality of masonry suggest it may date from the 1260s when Llywelyn ap Gruffydd controlled this area. North of the court is a bailey 60m wide, protected on the north side by a high rampart. (Salter)

Castle remains are at S end of a bluff where it narrows. Northern part consists of roughly rectangular, steep-sided, mound of stones, c.2m-2.2m high. Top of mound has tumbled walls around it, c.1-1.6m high on N, c.1.5m high on W, and c.1m high on E and S. Interior is full of stones and has a hollow in the middle 0.6-0.7m deep. To N of mound is a straight, discontinuous low stony bank running E/W. There is a gap in the NE corner and it then continues N/S along the top of the natural scarp on the E side, 0.5m-1.0m high. No outer wall on W. To S of mound is a small level open area, and then at the very end of the bluff there is a further, roughly circular mound c.2.5-2.7m high, now little more than a pile of stones whose top is surrounded by ruined walls c.1-2m high on N and 0.3m high on S. Below bluff to S a great E/W ditch, about 2-3m deep on S, has been cut through the interfluve between the two rivers. (Cadw 1988). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

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 ReferenceSN935144
Latitude51.8181114196777
Longitude-3.54503011703491
Eastings293590
Northings214440
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Books

  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 81-82
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 231 (listed)
  • Davis, Paul R., 2007, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Y Lolfa) p. 67-8
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 11
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 20
  • Remfry, Paul, 1998, Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press) p. 132-4 (plan)
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 49
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 21

Journals

  • Kay, R.E. 1969, ‘Castell Coch. Ystradfellte’ Brycheiniog Vol. 13 p. 87-94 online copy
  • 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. 82 no. 11 online copy
  • Renn, D.F., 1961, 'The round keeps of the Brecon region' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 110 p. 139
  • 1901, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 56 p. 67 and plan online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1903, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1225-32) Vol. 2 p. 339 online copy