Bryn y Castell, Knighton

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

There are earthwork remains

NameBryn y Castell, Knighton
Alternative NamesBryn Castell; Cnicteton; Cnichton; Trefylco
Historic CountryRadnorshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

Mound 40m in diameter (flat top 15m across) and 4.4m high on the edge of a steep escarpment on its N side. Surrounded, except on the N, by a ditch 1.3m deep. Possibly castle mentioned in 1181, 1191-3 and 1207 (Coflein)

Circular flat topped motte some 40m overall dia and 4.5m high. Surrounded except at N by 1.3m deep ditch. No evidence for the bailey to s postulated by RCAHM, 1913. No further detail. (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. Bryn y Castell is located on the south bank of the Teme, almost equidistant from the mottes at Knucklas and Lower Stanage. The motte is c.35m in diameter and c.4m high above the base of a ditch c.1m deep. its summit is c.15m in diameter. The bailey probably lay to the south, but the area is now covered by the Knighton Town Cricket ground. As at Lower Stanage, the ditch of the motte disappears on the north side into an almost sheer drop of 12 to 15m to the flat water meadows bounding the river. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Usually described as original castle of Knighton of c1100. However, Remfry writes it is possible a supplementary castle of just after 1215. Possible had masonry shell keep. Armitage thought this might be a siege castle of Knighton, but this seems unlikely.

- 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 ReferenceSO290721
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView 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. 63
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 181
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 33 (calls this a tumulus and casts doubt on being castle)
  • Remfry, P., 1996, Castles of Radnorshire (Logaston Press) p. 114
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 408
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 361
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 219
  • RCAHMW, 1913, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Radnorshire (HMSO) p. 55-6 no. 215 online copy
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 293 online copy
  • Davies, Edwin (ed), William, Jonathan, 1905, A General History of the County of Radnor (reprinted from 1858, Archaeologia Cambrensis (ser3) Vol. 4) p. 221


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • 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
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12


  • Silvester, R.J., 1994, Radnorshire Historic Settlements (CPAT report) p. 71, 72 online copy