Castell Gwarcwm, Rhosgoch

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Gwarcwm, Rhosgoch
Alternative NamesStradpeithyll; Ystrad Peithyll; Strath Peithyll; Rhydydomen; Razos Castle; Ystrad Peithyl, Castell Peithyll Rhosgoch.
Historic CountryCardiganshire
Modern AuthorityCeredigion
1974 AuthorityDyfed

A medieval castle mound identified with the 'Stradpeithyll' mentioned in the Chronicle of the Princes' - the Brut-y-Tywysogion. This is a steep, sometimes vertically sided mound or drum, some 20m in diameter and 3.6m high, carved from the west end of a spur above a stream confluence in a valley bottom, the Ystrad Peithyll. The level summit is some 12.5m across, but has been damaged by what looks like a robber pit - the mound was traditionally identified as a burial mound. A great flat-bottomed ditch surrounds the mound, 4.0-6.0m across the base and up to 15m wide between the summit of the mound and the far eastern lip of the ditch. Elsewhere there appears to have been a counterscarp bank above the lower ground. The mound, whose summit is slightly lower than the eastern lip of the ditch, would have been topped by a tall timber-framed tower. The house probably lay in the area between the mound and the stream confluence, where slight terraces suggest the presence of buildings. The castle would have been built in the years following Henry I's grant of Ceredigion to Gilbert fitz Richard in 1110. In 1113 it was the seat of Razo or Razon the steward. The chronicle relates that the castle was assualted and overpowered by an influx of Welsh princes, who then burnt it after killing many of the people within. The castle has no further recorded history. (Coflein)

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 ReferenceSN653824
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  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 265
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 235 (listed)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 41
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 43
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 45
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 47
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 352
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 282 online copy


  • Kenyon, John R., 1996, 'Fluctuating Frontiers: Normanno-Welsh Castle Warfare c. 1075 to 1240' Château Gaillard Vol. 17 p. 119-126
  • Thorburn, J., 1987, ‘Castell Ystrad Peithyll, Parcel Canol’ Archaeology in Wales Vol. 27 p. 55
  • 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., 1956, 'The Castles of Cardiganshire' Ceredigion Vol. 3 p. 65-6 no. 26 online copy
  • Wright, 1912, Aberystwyth Studies Vol. 1 p. 115-25

Primary Sources

  • Brut y Tywysogion 1116 (Several transcriptions and translations exist the best being Jones, T., 1952, Brut Y Twysogion (University of Wales, History and Law series 11)–based on the Peniarth MS 20 version. There is a flawed translation Williams ab Ithel, John, 1860, Brut Y Twysogion or The Chronicle of the Princes (Rolls Series) online copy)