Aberedw Motte

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

There are earthwork remains

NameAberedw Motte
Alternative NamesHen Castell; Pen Garreg Wood
Historic CountryRadnorshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

A castle mount or motte, crowning the summit of a rocky ridge on the north side of the wooded gorge of the Edw. It is associated with events in the later thirteenth century, but probably established rather earlier. A great mansion or castle was built nearby in 1284-5 (NPRN 92384). This is a steep sided roughly circular or oval mound some 30m in diameter and 5.1m high. It is ditched with a counterscarp bank except where it rests above the river gorge on the south. The summit, some 10m across, has been multilated and this has been taken to hint at the existence of a masonry tower. The castle mount has been identified as a viewing platform (see NPRN 86194) and it is possible that it fulfilled this role in relation to the grounds of the later mansion. (Coflein)

Motte, 30m diameter at base and c5.1m igh. Top c10m across. Mutilated by depression 0.3m deep. Ditch and counterscarp around north and west, steel natural defences elsewhere. No bailey apparent to OS 1973; CPAT site visit 1978, though one perhaps erroneously by RCAHM 1913 and subsequently copied by OS1964. Formerly surmounted by D--shaped tower the grass-covered foundations of which are still apparent. Known also as Hen Castell (Silvester, R J 1994b, 12). Mound is c.28m diameter at its base, c.5m high. Ditch and low counterscarp on N and NW. (Cadw 2000) (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of a motte and ditch, dating to the medieval period (c. 1066 -1540 AD). A motte is a large conical or pyramidal mound of soil and/or stone, usually surrounded by either a wet or dry ditch, and surmounted by a tower constructed of timber or stone. Aberedw Castle Mound, also known as Hen Castell, sits on the summit of a rocky ridge on the north side of the gorge of the Edw. It is a steep-sided, roughly oval mound c.30m in diameter and c.5.1m high, with a summit c.10m across. A depression c.0.3m deep within this may hint at the presence of a stone tower

The motte is surrounded by a ditch and counterscarp on all sides but the south-east, where the natural cliff of the gorge provides sufficient protection. This site would have been succeeded, probably in 1284-85, by the nearby stone castle (Scheduled Monument RD029). The mound may have seen further use as a viewing platform in relation to the gardens of the much later nearby mansion. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

See also Aberedw castle bibliography for details of history.

- 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 ReferenceSO078471
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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 52° 6' 54.86" Longitude -3° 20' 50.35"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 52° 6' 54.86" Longitude -3° 20' 50.35"

View full Sized Image
Copyright Bill Nicholls and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

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  • Remfry, P., 2008, The Castles and History of Radnorshire (SCS Publishing)
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 249 (listed)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 54
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 181
  • Remfry, P., 1996, Castles of Radnorshire (Logaston Press) p. 145
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 406
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles)
  • RCAHMW, 1913, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Radnorshire (HMSO) p. 9 no. 27 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


  • Silvester, R.J., 1994, Radnorshire Historic Settlements (CPAT report) p. 12 online copy