Cwrt y Vil Castle, Penarth

Has been described as a Rejected Fortified Manor House

There are masonry footings remains

NameCwrt y Vil Castle, Penarth
Alternative NamesCanon Court
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan

Remains of a rubble-built range, 26m NE-SW by 7.5m, much damaged, set in a private garden. Thought to have been part of a grange belonging to At Augustine's Abbey, Bristol, c.1180-1538. Possibly a barn, although sub-divisions mitigate against this. (source: RCAHMW 1982, 304-5). (Coflein–J.Wiles 06.02.03)

In garden of No 2 Castle Avenue, to N of house. History: Circa 1180 Osbert of Pennard granted land to Augustinian canons from St Augustine's abbey Bristol who established a grange (monastic manor) at Penarth. When St Augustine's became cathedral following Dissolution of Monasteries farm became property of Cathedral chapter. Description: Remains consist of shell of barn range with attached room to W, aligned roughly E-W, into which have been inserted C20 garages and outhouses (replacing C19 stables). S wall and S half of W wall have been lost. Random rubble walls (occasionally coursed) stand up to 2m high, with putlog holes. There is a splayed slit window in the E wall and blocked doorway to N wall of W room. NE corner of W room has beginnings of corbelling. Length of range approx 24m by 7m with a cross wall approx 5m from W end. (Listed Building Report)

Cwrt-y-vil was a grange not a castle; fee of Penarth given to St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol, which established a grange there. The only remains are three walls of a building of uncertain purpose, one possibly a barn, in to which is built a block of C19 stables and garage; there is a tradition of a chapel (RCAHMW). (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Site designated 'Cwrt-y-vil Castle (Ruins of) on OS maps down to 1947. Fragment of wall remains. King rejects this as a castle, considers these to be domestic walls only. Spurgeon writes this was a grange of the canons of St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol. Monastic owners would have had the resources to fortify such a grange which is not far from the coast and, therefore, a potential target for pirates.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST179702
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
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. 254 (listed as possible grange)
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 75 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 174 (reject)
  • RCAHMW, 1982, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 2: Secular Non-defensive Monuments (London: HMSO) MG52 p. 304-5
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 439
  • Rees, Wm, 1932, Map of South Wales and the Border in the 14th century (Ordnance Survey) (A handbook to the map was published in 1933)


  • Spurgeon, C.J. with Roberts, D.J. and Thomas, H.J., 1999, 'Supposed Castles in Glamorgan; A review' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 39 27-40
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132