Castell Crugerydd

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

There are earthwork remains

NameCastell Crugerydd
Alternative NamesCrug Eryr; Cruker; Llanfihancel Nant Melan; castrum Crukeri
Historic CountryRadnorshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys
CommunityNew Radnor

Castell Crugerydd is a roughly square enclosure, 40m across, defined by a bank and ditch, 63m by 60m overall, has a 26m diameter, 4.5m high ditched mound set over its NW angle. (Coflein)

Motte and bailey. The motte is 26m diameter and 4.5m high with a flat summit 5m across. The bailey, which is 40m across, lies to the south-east and partly encloses the motte. There is an encircling ditch 5m wide and 1m deep with a bank 8m wide and 0.7m high internally. The entrance is across a causeway. Excavated 1936/37 when 13th century (?) pottery was recovered from the ditch of the motte. (Phillips, D W 1936;1938). Was known as Cruker's Castle to Giraldus Cambrensis when he stayed there in 1188. The site commands the Edw valley (Gregory, D, 1994, 63). Unusually small area with the mound at the NW end of the enclosure. (Cadw, 1985) (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

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 would have been further strengthened with palisades, revetments, and/or a tower on top of the motte. In this example, which stands on a spur at an altitude of 390m, with superb views NW towards the Wye valley, the bailey is unusually small. The bailey takes the form of a fairly regular circle, raised c.3m above the surrounding surface, from which it is separated by an earthen rampart with an average height of c.1m with a shallow ditch outside it. The motte, which is c.5-6m high, is surrounded by an even shallower ditch which connects with that surrounding the bailey

The site is first mentioned c.1188 by Giraldus Cambrensis when it was the seat of Maelgwyn, son of Cadwallon ap Madog of Powys, and is thought to have remained in Welsh hands through most of the Medieval period. (Scheduling Report)

Minor motte and bailey castle built on a commanding hill. Although still prominent on the landscape, the castle and surrounding earthworks appear to have been altered and damaged over the years, making it somewhat difficult to ascertain the site's original form. The castle's present form consists of a D-shaped bailey platform rising above a surrounding ditch, adjoining a motte that is protected by its own ditch. The ditch and rampart are noticeably stronger on the eastern side of the castle, and a causeway (entrance?) to the south crosses the ditch-work there. Possibly had stone curtain wall. (Derived from Remfry and Salter)

Gatehouse Comments

This castle was probably built by Cadwallon ap Madog, d.1177 (Paul Remfry states he died on 22 Sept 1179), and was mentioned as a castle of his son Maelgwn in 1188 by Giraldus Cambrenis.

- 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 ReferenceSO157592
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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. 250 (listed)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 56
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 181
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 50
  • Remfry, P., 1996, Castles of Radnorshire (Logaston Press) p. 107-9
  • Gregory, D., 1994, Radnorshire: A Historical Guide (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Iard yr Orsaf)
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 222-3
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 409
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 345
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 161
  • RCAHMW, 1913, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Radnorshire (HMSO) p. 91-3 no. 357 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
  • Rees, W., 1960, ‘Crugerudd castle’ Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 108 p. 157-8
  • Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • Phillips, D.W., 1937, Report of the Congress of Archaeologists p. 26
  • Phillips, D.W., 1936, Report of the Congress of Archaeologists p. 29

Primary Sources