New Moat Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameNew Moat Motte
Alternative NamesNova Mota
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunityNew Moat

The earthworks of a motte and bailey castle can be seen at New Moat. The motte is about 40m in diameter and 5.0m high, having a summit area 20m in diameter; a low mound, 7.0m in diameter, set at the centre of the motte summit, is thought unlikely to represent a building, or structure. The mound is ditched and counterscarped, some 54m overall diameter. OS County series (Pembroke. XVII.16 1889) depicts a water-filled moat. The motte is set astride the eastern side of a subrectangular, round-angled bailey enclosure, about 125m NNE-SSW by up to 80m, this being defined by banks, or scarps and showing indications of a ditch, or moat. Further earthworks have been noted, some 200m to the south-west, where OS County series shows 'the Mote (site of)' (NAR SN02NE23), whilst a linear earthwork feature is apparent on aerial photographs leading north-east from the motte (RCAHMW 89-CS 548); these features may relate to the medieval borough; burgesses, but no market, being recorded at New Moat in 1326 (Kissock 1997, 132). (Coflein–ref. Kissock)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a military stronghold built during the medieval period. A motte and bailey castle comprises a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil or stone (the motte) surrounded by, or adjacent to, one or more embanked enclosures (the bailey). Both may be surrounded by wet or dry ditches and could be further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. The motte measures 60ft in diameter across the top and 20ft high and is surrounded by a wet ditch. There is a 3ft counterscarp bank outside the ditch in places. The bailey bank starts on the south and turns in a southwesterly direction. This is almost completely ploughed out. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The name does suggest this was a new castle on a virgin site and the base for a planned new town, which given the size of the parish church may have had some initial success, but ultimately failed to flourish as a town.

- 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 ReferenceSN063253
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 248 (listed)
  • Hull, Lise, 2005, Castles and Bishops Palaces of Pembrokeshire (Logaston Press) p. 156-7
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 178
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 37
  • Kissock, J.,1997, 'Post-conquest and pre-conquest villages in Pembrokeshire' in Edwards, N. (ed.) Landscape & Settlement in Medieval Wales p. 125-37
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 87 (slight)
  • Miles, Dillwyn, 1979 (Revised 1988), Castles of Pembrokeshire (Pembrokeshire Coast National Park) p. 5-7
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 395
  • 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)
  • RCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 268 no. 805 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy


  • 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