Rumney Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameRumney Castle
Alternative NamesRhymney; Cae Castell; Reigni; Remni; Renni; Remmi
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityCardiff
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan

The earthwork remains of Rumney Castle were excavated in 1978 and de-scheduled in 1986 due to planned development on the site. (Coflein)

The castle was a motte placed on the edge of the fall to the river. Only part of the mound survives in a garden, but it is the greater part and it retains much of its formidable ditch. The motte was fairly low but extraordinarily broad-topped, its summit having originally had a diameter approaching 100ft. Excavation at Cae Castell in 1978 and 1980 showed that the site was first fortified by a ditch and bank forming a ringwork. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Small ringwork historically part of the marcher lordship of Gwynllwg, was situated above a steep natural scarp overlooking the river Rhymney. First mentioned in A.D. 1184-85, the castle guarded the western boundary of the lordship and the river crossing. The defenses consisted of a ditch and clay rampart constructed around three sides of the site. Initially incorporated into the defenses along the fourth side was a large timber building and possibly a palisade. The entrance was originally defended by a large timber gate tower, later superseded by a smaller timber structure. Following this, the defences were strengthened by the widening of the rampart and the construction of a small tower or keep alongside the entrance. Several phases of timber building, including two large halls, were arranged around a courtyard. During a later period the entrance was relocated and a stone gate tower constructed. (Lightfoot)

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 ReferenceST210789
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  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 61
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 287
  • Lightfoot, K.W.B., 1982, ‘“Cae Castell”, Rumney, Cardiff — final interim report' Annual Report 1981-82 (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust) p. 1-7
  • Lightfoot, K.W.B., 1981, ‘Cae Castell, Rumney, Cardiff‘ Annual Report 1980-81 (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust,) p. 11-15
  • Lightfoot, K.W.B., 1980, ‘An interim report on the excavation of Cae Castell, Rumney, Cardiff' Annual Report 1979-80 (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust) p. 9-12
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 377
  • 1978, ‘Cae Castell, Rumney’ Annual Report 1977-78 (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust) p. 6-9
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 293
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 650-1
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  • Coxe, W., 1801, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire (London) Vol. 1 p. 63n plan acing p. 75


  • Lightfoot, K.W.B., 1992, 'Rumney Castle: A Ringwork and Manorial Centre in South Glamorgan' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 36 p. 96-163 download copy
  • 1982, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 225 download copy
  • Youngs, S.M. and Clark, J., 1981, ‘Medieval Britain in 1980’ Medieval Archaeology Vol. 25 p. 202-3 download copy
  • Lightfoot, K.W.B., 1981 ‘Cae Castell, Rumney’ Archaeology in Wales Vol. 21 p. 60-2
  • Lightfoot, K.W.B., 1980 ‘Cae Castell, Rumney’ Archaeology in Wales Vol. 20 p. 71-2
  • Lewis, J.M. and Boon, G.C., 1980, ‘Archaeological notes: Rumney, Cae Castell’ Morgannwg Vol. 24 p. 91, 94-5 online copy [online copy >]
  • Lightfoot K.W.B. and Stanley, P., 1979, ‘Cae Castell, Rumney’ Archaeology in Wales Vol. 19 p. 40
  • Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1978, ‘Medieval Britain in 1977’ Medieval Archaeology Vol. 22 p. 263 download copy
  • Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust (Spurgeon and Thomas), 1978, ‘Archaeological notes: Rumney Castle, Cardiff’ Morgannwg Vol. 22 p. 87 online copy
  • Spurgeon, C.J. and Thomas, H.J., 1978, 'Medieval Glamorgan' Morgannwg Vol. 22 p. 18 online copy
  • Spurgeon and Thomas, 1974, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 14 p. 37-8
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • 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

Primary Sources

  • Giraldus Cambrensis, c.1183, Description of Wales view online transcription
  • The Great Roll of the Pipe for the thirty-second year of the reign of King Henry II A.D. 1185-1186 (Pipe Roll Society 36)