Castell Prysor

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Palace (Other)

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Prysor
Alternative NamesCwm Prysor
Historic CountryMerioneth
Modern AuthorityGwynedd
1974 AuthorityGwynedd

The medieval castle mound known as Castell Prysor is formed from an outcrop upon a spur projecting from the hillside above the Prysor valley. There are ruins of several buildings and terraces and enclosures, to the west and east. This is thought to have been a princely court, or llys. A later building (NPRN 28274) occupies an earlier building platform. This is one of several instances in Merioneth where an apparently unfortified mansion or court is associated with a castle mound, for example Crogen (NPRN 306558) and Rug (NPRN 306598). At Aber in Caernarvonshire a thirteenth century court (NPRN 309171) was excavated at the foot of a castle mount (NPRN 95692). A natural rock boss has been formed into a high steep sided mound by the addition of a mass of stones set in clay, retained by a massive spiralling wall. The resulting mound is in the region of 40-50m across and 15-25m high, with a level summit 8.0-13m across. Pennant noted traces of a round tower in the late eighteenth century (Tours ii, 111-12). The castle mound has no certain outworks. Pennant's notice of 'many Roman coins & urns' being found here may be no more than a figure of speach. (Coflein–John Wiles, RCAHMW, 09.07.07)

This natural boss of rock is strengthened and topped by a stone mound which was originally revetted with dry walling, now badly ruined. Edward I wrote a letter from here on 1 July 1284, but it is obviously an earlier Welsh castle. (Lynch, 1995)

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 ReferenceSH757368
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  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 43-4
  • Kenyon, John, 2010, The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press) p. 19
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  • RCAHMW, 1921, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Merionethshire (HMSO) p. 179 no. 568 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy
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  • de Levandowicz, Martin, 1998, ' A Survey of Castell Prysor, Meirionnydd' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 38
  • Avent, Richard, 1994, 'Castles of the Welsh Princes' Château Gaillard Vol. 16 p. 11-17
  • 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
  • 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
  • Gresham, C.A. and Hemp, W.J., 1949, ‘Castell Prysor’ 96th Annual Meeting: Programme, 1949, CAA p. 23 (reprinted in the 1971 Harlech Programme p. 26-7)
  • Gresham, C.A. and Hemp, W.J., 1948-9, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 100 p. 312-3

Primary Sources

  • Edwards, J.G. (ed), 1940, Littere Wallie, preserved in Liber A (Cardiff) p. 170