Castle Nimble, Old Radnor

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

There are earthwork remains

NameCastle Nimble, Old Radnor
Alternative NamesKnapp; Maes Hyfaidd; Maes Hyvaidd
Historic CountryRadnorshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys
CommunityOld Radnor

A rather oval ditched motte, 26-20m in diameter and 1.6m high, with a summit, c.16m by 12m, stands to the W of a subrectangular bailey, c.30m by 20m, banked and ditched, with a counterscarp to the N. A further enclosure on the S, c.68m NNW-SSE by 20m, partly defined by a c.38m stretch of bank & ditch, leading SSE from the bailey's SE angle, elsewhere apparently by scarps, those on the S being terraced into the natural scarp defining the edge of the floodplain. Possibly a pond/pool. Several of the mottes in the Walton basin are associated with water-features (see Nprn306368, 306365). One conifer appears to have survived from the planting on the motte depicted on OS County series (1889). (Coflein)

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. Castle Nimble is situated on level ground on the bank of a small stream. The motte is c.25m in diameter and 1.6m high, with a summit measuring c.17m north-north-west to east-south-east by c.16m. It is surrounded on its north, west and south sides by a ditch and, on the west and south, a counterscarp bank 0.8m high. To the east of the motte lies a sub-rectangular bailey, measuring c.30m east-west by c.20m internally, defended on the east and south by a bank which stands 0.9m above a ditch 0.6m deep; on the north there is only a ditch with an outer counterscarp bank. (Scheduling Report)

Remfry writes 1, there is no actual evidence to support this being a predecessor of New Radnor and 2, that the motte is a collapsed stone tower.

Gatehouse Comments

Given primary sources may refer to either this site (if early) or Knapp Farm. The location is in the heart of a area of good arable land, something relatively rare in this part of mid Wales so may represent the farmstead of a tenant who owed military service. Some of the earthworks may be water management features, either to defend against potential floods to to make pools.

- 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 ReferenceSO247594
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 13' 40.51" Longitude -3° 6' 9.72"

Castle Nimble 08062016 091338.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 13' 40.51" Longitude -3° 6' 9.72"

Castle Nimble-2 08062016 091316.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 13' 40.51" Longitude -3° 6' 9.72"

Castle Nimble-3 08062016 091310.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 13' 40.51" Longitude -3° 6' 9.72"

Castle Nimble-4 08062016 091257.Jpg

View 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.

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  • Britnell, B. 2013, Walton Basin: archaeology and conservation. Welshpool (Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust)
  • 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. 57 (plan)
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 181
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 56
  • Remfry, P., 1996, Castles of Radnorshire (Logaston Press) p. 80-1 (plan)
  • Remfry, P., 1995, Ten Castles of the Radnor Lordship (SCS Publishing, Worcester)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 410
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 289
  • RCAHMW, 1913, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Radnorshire (HMSO) p. 133 no. 551 online copy
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 292 online copy


  • Gibson, A., 1997, 'Survey in the Walton Basin (Radnor Valley) Powys' Transactions of the Radnorshire Society Vol. 67 p. 20-62 esp. 41, 42 (plan) 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
  • 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)
  • Sandford, 1882, Montgomery Collections Vol. 15 p. 79-80

Primary Sources

  • Brut y Tywysogion 1196, 1215, 1216, 1231, 1233 (Several transcriptions and translations exist the best being Jones, T., 1952, Brut Y Twysogion (University of Wales, History and Law series 11)–based on the Peniarth MS 20 version. There is a flawed translation Williams ab Ithel, John, 1860, Brut Y Twysogion or The Chronicle of the Princes (Rolls Series) online copy)
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1903, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1225-32) Vol. 2 p. 194, 336, 339, 427 online copy


  • Silvester, R.J., 1994, Radnorshire Historic Settlements (CPAT report) p. 135 online copy