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Dingstow Castle

4m W of Monmouth, Monmouthshire, south Wales

Map link for Dingstow Castle

All photographs copyright by Malcolm Ranson

Elisabeth Whittle 1992

A jungle of undergrowth now defends this large motte, but even if this prevents a closer look a good impression can be gained from the footpath. It is a typical Norman motte, circular and steep-sided, with ditches on the north and south sides. A causeway across the ditch in the north-west corner may indicate an entrance. The bailey was probably on the south side, delineated by an outer bank. The motte is in a good defensive position, with a steep drop to the river Trothy on one side and a dry ravine on the other. Strategically, it was positioned to secure the Monmouth-Raglan corridor into south Wales, and to guard the crossing of the river Trothy.

The castle was the precursor of a larger, stone-built one (Dingestow), the site of which is the large rectangular mound to the west of the church (shown above). This was under construction in 1182 by Ranulf Poer, sheriff of Herefordshire, when it was attacked by Hywel ap Iorwerth, the Welsh lord of Caerleon, as part of his retaliation for the murder of Seisyllt ap Dyfnwal at Abergavenny Castle in 1175 by William de Braose.

Below: looking across the top of the castle platform

 


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Copyright 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas