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Tomen y Rhodwydd

near Llandegla, Denbighshire, north Wales

Photographs Copyright 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas

Pratt 1978

Tomen y Rhodwydd, built by Owain Gwynedd in 1149 in conjunction with his annexation of part of Powys, is a very fine motte and bailey castle, commanding wide views except to the north-east. The Nant y Garth Pass (now the A525), connecting the Clwyd and Alyn valleys south of the Clwydian Hills, and the Horseshoe Pass from the Dee valley, meet nearby. The castle was retaken in 1157 by Iorwerth Goch ap Maredudd of Powys and burnt, although like Tomen y Faerdre, it was restored and ditched by the English forces during King John's 1212 campaign.

 

Below: view of the still-impressive motte at Tomen y Rhodwydd

 

The remains are mainly grass-covered. The motte, 20m across the top, is surrounded on the north and west by a dramatic ditch and outer bank. It stands 7.8m above the base of the ditch and 4.9m above the bailey to its south-east, with only a slight hollow between the two. The bailey measures about 40m across internally; no visible traces of buildings remain. Its undulating bank stands about 1-1.5m above the interior, and 4-5m above the base of the ditch, which joins the motte ditch on the south and surrounds the bailey except for a causeway at the northernmost corner beside the motte. An outer bank, possibly built of spoil from the ditches, survives on the south, although the site has been damaged by the road on this side.

 

Additional photographs of Tomen y Rhodwydd

View of the large bailey at Tomen y Rhodwydd taken from the summit of the motte

 

General view of some of the castle's impressive banks and ditches

 

This view is not of the motte, but rather of the outer bank of the castle

 

Additional impressive earthworks protecting the castle's bailey

 

View of the steeply-sloped earthworks leading down to the main road adjacent to the castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candid photo of the castle's current residents, who seem a bit unsure about our presence

 


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Copyright 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas