Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Urban Defence
There are earthwork remains
|Alternative Names||Kayre; Cayre
|1974 Authority||South Glamorgan
The undocumented castle-ringwork at Caerau, on high ground at 3.75km W. of Cardiff, and 1,4km N.W. of Brynwell, is of interest for three aspects of its siting: it lies within the N.W. angle of a large multivallate hill-fort from which it derives its name ‘forts’ in Welsh; the abandoned and ruinous church of St Mary’s abuts its defences on the S.W.; and, finally, it lies in the south-western part of the medieval episcopal manor of Llandaf. Its elevated situation, at 230ft above O.D. within a hill-fort, may be compared with that of Cil Ifor ringwork and Ruperra motte. The siting of early castles beside a church is not uncommon, but here, St Mary’s, though it became a parish church after the Reformation, was originally a chapel of Llandaf.
The ringwork is well-preserved, its strong and noticeably flat-topped bank defining an oval area 52m by 34m, with a gap for the entrance to the S.W., in which direction the site is further protected towards the level interior of the fort by a strong penannular ditch. The bank on the N. side of the entrance is builthigher than the rest, and has a very broad and level top. To the N.E. the bank has been raised over the eroded inner line of the fort. There are no traces of a bailey or of buildings within the ring, although one sherd of 12th-century date is reported.
There is no historical record of the castle, and in the absence of any evidence suggesting an early lay manor here, it seems probable that this was an episcopal castle, like that at Bishopston Old Castle. The Bishop of Llandaf was a lord marcher, in right of his manor of Llandaf, the temporalities of which, in 1291, were worth almost twice the spiritualities of the entire diocese. By the close of the Middle Ages Caerau (Kayre or Cayre) was held by the Malefants of the bishop, as of his manor of Llandaf
An oval enclosure, c.40m NW-SE by 22m, defined by a rampart and ditch, resting on the NE angle of Caerau ramparts, having an entrance facing SW towards St Mary's church. Thought to be an unrecorded castle belonging to the Bishops of Llandaff. (Coflein)
This site is a scheduled monument protected by law
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||ST133749