Ystradowen Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameYstradowen Motte
Alternative NamesYstrdd Owen; Druids Grove
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan

A disturbed, sub-circular, ditched mound, c.41.5-46m in diameter and up to 4.0m high, apparently formed by cutting off the end of a natural bank. A walled plantation about the mound is called "Druids's Grove". Thought to be an unfinished motte, however damage by treasure seekers / early archaeologists, makes interpretation difficult. (Coflein)

Ystradowen Castle Mound is a rare example of an unfinished motte. The NW side is unditched but on the other sides the ditch was left uncompleted. It may have been superceeded by nearby Talyfan Castle. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Medium-sized motte just west of the church with a quarry hole in the middle. There is a ditch on the north and south sides, stopping abruptly at the west end, suggesting that the castle was unfinished. The masonry castle of Tal y Fan is 1km to the east. However, it is suggested that the abortive motte was the intended caput of a Norman lordship of 'Charlton' rather than a precursor site to Tal y Fan (RCAHMW, 1991, p. 77)

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 ReferenceST010776
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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

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 241 (listed)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 111
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > MO12 p. 75-7
  • 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. 171
  • Davis, Paul R., 1983, Castles of Glamorgan (Alun Books)
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 448
  • Randall, Henry John, 1961, The Vale of Glamorgan, Studies in Landscape and History (Newport: R.H.Johns Ltd) p. 77
  • Morien, 1903, History of Pontypridd and Rhondda Valleys (Pontypridd) p. 29


  • King, D.J.C., 1983, ‘Ystradowen motte’ 130th annual meeting, Vale of Glamorgan, 1983: programme, CAA p. 21
  • Spurgeon, C.J. and Thomas, H.J.,1980, 'Castle mound, Ystradowen', Archaeology in Wales Vol. 20 p. 73-5
  • 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
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 216 online copy