Erddig Castle, Wrexham

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameErddig Castle, Wrexham
Alternative NamesWrecsam; Erthcote; Wristleham; Wristlesham
Historic CountryDenbighshire
Modern AuthorityWrexham
1974 AuthorityClwyd
CommunityMarchwiel

An earthwork castle set on the end of a promontory above the confluence of the Afon Clywedog on the E and the Black Brook on the W & N. Wat's Dyke runs along the W of the site. Two enclosures were formed by scarps and ditches, an oval N motte, c.38m E-W by 30m, and a subrectangular bailey, c.78m E-W by 72m, to the S. Thought to be 'the castle of Wristleham', mentioned 1161. The site has been altered by landscaping associated with Erddig Park. (Coflein)

Very strong motte and bailey which has used natural defences provided by a steep north-west promontory and has also utilised Wat's Dyke on the west side. Mentioned in pipe rolls of 1161-62 as Wristleham Castle. Partially landscaped during 18th century (Burnham, H 1995, 141). Almost complete earthen castle comprising a rectangular bailey and motte formed by cutting 2 broad ditches between 25-35m wide. Both ditches are open-ended and dry. A sinusous bank along the brink of the west escarpment with an internal parallel ditch may represent the modified counterscarp bank of Wat's Dyke. Diameter of motte is 21.5m E-W, and a roughly circular hollow and platform 10m across is centrally placed. May be the castle of Bromfield (King, 1983, 103,105). In 1999 CPAT was commissioned to undertake a detailed contour survey of the Erddig motte and bailey castle by the National Trust as an aid to management and visitor interpretation. A very large and impressive motte and bailey built on a scarp high above the river. The Bailey is defined by a steep dry moat which is cut into the peninsular. on the west side Wat's Dyke is amalgamated into the medieval fortifications. The motte lies to the north and is now little higher than its bailey. It has a surprisingly large platform. The entire monument lies within the heavily planted and landscaped big wood. Landscaping may be responsible for the paths which are cut into the earthworks and they may have undergone other alterations

(CPAT Tir Gofal assessment 1999) (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 ReferenceSJ327486
Latitude53.0313987731934
Longitude-3.0046501159668
Eastings332720
Northings348650
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
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Books

  • 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. 86
  • 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. 103
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 383
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker)
  • Lowe, W.Bezant, 1927, The Heart of North Wales (Llanfairfechan) Vol. 2 p. 227-8
  • RCAHMW, 1914, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Denbighshire (HMSO) p. 54 no. 166 online copy
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 268-9 online copy
  • Palmer, A.N., 1903, History of the country townships of the old parish of Wrexham
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy

Journals

  • Pratt, D., 2010, 'A Wrexham castle? Didn't know there was one!' Clwyd Historian Vol. 62 p. 23-9
  • Jones. N. 1999. ‘Erddig Motte and Bailey’. Archaeology in Wales Vol. 39 p. 131-2
  • King, D.J.C., 1973, ‘Erddig motte and bailey’ The 120th Annual Meeting in Wrexham and District, 1973, CAA p. 34
  • Price, 1967, Denbighshire Historical Society Transactions Vol. 16 p. 10-14, 20-1
  • 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)

Primary Sources

  • 1885, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the eighth year of the reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1161-1162 (Pipe Roll Society Publications 5) p. 20 online copy

Other

  • Christopher Gallagher, 2000, Erddig: a Survey of the Landscape (National Trust Report)