Caerwent Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCaerwent Motte
Alternative NamesCastell Gwent
Historic CountryMonmouthshire
Modern AuthorityMonmouthshire
1974 AuthorityGwent

The motte at Caerwent is a subcircular, originally ditched mound, about 24m in diameter, raised over the south-eastern angle of the defences of the Roman town (Nprn93753). A 'castell of Gwent' is mentioned in about 1150. (Coflein)

The interpretation of the site, based on actual remains and location is that the small motte represents a watch-tower or guard-post. Caerwent does not present any outworks that would be expected for a castle in hostile territory and its size does not suggest intensive use at anytime. Based on the possibility that it guarded the quarry source for Chepstow, the motte may be early. (Phillips)

Gatehouse Comments

Although the motte lacks outworks the large Roman town walls were and are intact and survive virtually to full height. This would make an ideal camp for a large cavalry force but would be far to large for a castle with a limited garrison.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceST470903
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Castle Photographs by D J Steward 2012 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
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
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 76, 219, 220
  • Kenyon, John, 2010, The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press) p. 107
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 242 (listed)
  • Prior, Stuart, 2006, A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Tempus) p. 110-164
  • Phillips, Neil, 2006, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (British Archaeological Reports) p. 138-9
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 123
  • Brewer, Richard J., 1993, Caerwent Roman Town (CADW) p. 42
  • Salter, Mike, 1991, The Castles of Gwent, Glamorgan and Gower (Malvern) p. 74 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 281
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 333
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 127


  • Rees, S.E. and Anthony, M., 2006, 'Caerwent Roman town: conservation, excavation and interpretation' Monmouthshire Antiquarian Vol. 22 p. 57-72
  • Knight, Jeremy K., 1994, 'Welsh Fortifications of the first Millenium A.D.' Château Gaillard Vol. 16 p. 277-284
  • 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

Guide Books

  • Brewer, R.J., 2006 (3edn), Caerwent Roman town (Cardiff: CADW)

Primary Sources

  • Rees, W. (ed), 1840, Liber Landavensis p. 32, 43, 571, 584 online copy


  • Phillips, Neil, 2005, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (PhD Thesis University of Sheffield) Download