Castell y Waun Motte, Chirk

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell y Waun Motte, Chirk
Alternative NamesCeiriog
Historic CountryDenbighshire
Modern AuthorityWrexham
1974 AuthorityClwyd

Chirk Motte is a circular flat-topped mound about 30m in diameter and 5.7m high, with no trace of a ditch. This is identified as a castle mound, specifically the Castell-y-Waun mentioned in 1165 and 1212. It is located in the planned borough of Chirk, occupying a prominent corner plot facing the church. The borough received its first charter in 1324 and can be associated with the later, greater castle 2km to the west. The mound was the central feature of the ornamental garden to the rear of The Mount, a mid eighteenth century house. As depicted on the Ordnance Survey County series 1st edition (Denbigh. XL.10 1872) the mound was set within what appears to be a subrectangular enclosure or platform, roughly 50m across. Other than this there are no traces of other castle earthworks. (Coflein)

Castle mound 5.7m high in use as an ornamental garden. There is no trace of a surrounding ditch or bailey. The mound is flat topped 22m in diameter mentioned in 1165-6 and 1212 pipe roll. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Motte, a circular, flat-topped mound, with no trace of a ditch or other dependant features, although it is likely these are lost rather than having never been present. Overlooking steep drop to Afon Ceiriog. South of Church and very overgrown. The river runs in a gorge here and the castle would have controlled one of the few crossing points of what would have been a strong natural barrier. Directly opposite, on the other, English side of the river, is St Martin's, Oaklands motte.

- 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 ReferenceSJ291375
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 237 (listed)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 69
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles of North Wales (Malvern) p. 54
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  • Mahler, M., 1912, A History of Chirk Castle and Chirkland. (G. Bell and Sons Ltd. London) p. 4-13
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 269-70 online copy
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 3 (London) p. 421-2 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 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
  • 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)
  • Anon, 1935, Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies p. 33
  • 1923, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 78 p. 415

Primary Sources