Castell Llwyn Bedw

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameCastell Llwyn Bedw
Alternative NamesLlwynbedw; Lwm Bwa
Historic CountryCarmarthenshire
Modern AuthorityCarmarthenshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunityLlanfihangel Ar Arth

Damaged weak shapeless motte in marshy ground. (King)

An oval, flat-topped & ditched mound, about 30m east-west by 24m across, mutilated by an excavation trench: there are no indications of associated works. (Coflein)

The motte is still well preserved but is below its original height. It slopes south-westwards and into the base on that side is the remains of a 24 ft. by 6 ft. trench. Surrounded on all sides by marshland, the bailey is so broken that it is difficult to get true measurements. The general lie of the land, together with the disposition of field hedges, and preservation of slopes, however, leads to the supposition that the present plan is a fair representation of the original earthwork. An instructive feature is the extension of the bailey along an upward slope of 2°, making it difficult to establish its termination. It is suggested that this motte-and-bailey, though of the same general scheme of Norman occupation, is a very early and simple example and probably was used later as an outpost of that most excellent example at Pencader and, later still, as a manorial centre for the collection of taxes and the settlement of disputes. (Hughes, 1967)

Gatehouse Comments

Whether this was ever intended as a military site is questionable. The site is overlooked on all side, notably by a Iron Age hillfort 500m N. Neither as weak nor as damaged as King's comment suggests. It may not be early, as suggested by Hughes, but merely a relatively simple manorial centre built in an archaic and relatively cheap fashion.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceSN431397
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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 236 (listed)
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 36
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 46 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 57
  • RCAHMW, 1917, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Carmarthenshire (HMSO) p. 134 no. 397 online copy


  • Hughes, I.T., 1967, 'Lwm Bwa' Ceredigion Vol. 5.4 p. 432-3 online copy
  • 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