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Llanhilleth Motte
& Castell Taliorum

Blaenau Gwent, south Wales
SO 217019 & SO 216022

Photographs copyright 2003 by Laurie Oliver

There are two castles at Llanhilleth that have sparked some controversy over the years. The first is generally referred to as Llanhilleth Castle, while the other, lying nearby behind the village church of , is often referred to as Castell Taliorum. While most feel that these were both castles, some feel the sites are either burial mounds or just plain mounds. Llanhilleth appears to have been a large motte and bailey that retains its defensive ditch. An excavation carried out in the 1920s, confirms that Castell Taliorum was a masonry castle with a remarkably large central round keep. These excavations produced both 17th century and medieval pottery - though none was older than the 14th century (Bailey 1957, 26). An entry in the Brut y Tywysogion ("Chronicle of the Princes") for 1233 records that Llywelyn the Great burnt the castles at Monmouth, Cardiff and Abergavenny and "the castrum called Castell Hithell" (Bailey 1957, 26).

Llanhilleth Motte

Castell Taliorum

 


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Copyright 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas