Home » Blog » Castles » Castles in Powys; Visit Report ‘LD1’ Postcode:

This page may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission if you use one of these links to make a purchase.  This does not cost you any extra.

Castles in Powys Part 1: Many Castles we visit are small ruins, usually old timber Motte and Bailey castles, that were either never upgraded to stone, were destroyed during their use or destroyed once abandoned. Here are just seven Motte and Bailey ruins found in LD1 postal area, there are still lots more castles in Powys yet to discover.

These ruins are quick and easy to visit, (once we find them anyway), they are usually just a steep small man-made grass covered hill, or a few ditches.

These castles wont have their own post, so we will include these in shorter visit reports like this one.

If you have anything you’d like to know about these castle ruins, anything to add, edit, compliment or criticise please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Indigo walking along the highest point of the motte and bailey of Castell y Blaidd in Powys
Indigo walking along the top of a Motte and Bailey Castle (Castell y Blaidd)

Here is the report from this weeks adventures in Mid-Wales, where we visited seven motte and bailey castles in Powys, all in the ‘LD1’ postcode covering the countryside around Llandrindod.

We were really on a roll, with seven Motte and Bailey castles in Powys visited and still hours of daylight and plenty more on our list to attempt, when we broke down.

Even stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no phone signal, we managed to find a friendly farmer/mechanic a mile down the road who tricked the car into thinking it was fixed and we were able to limp home.

Toyota Celica car up on a jack after the brakes were damaged by off-roading during the welsh castle projects Powys adventures
Our old banger getting emergency repairs by a kind farmer, rescued!

Here’s what we did see, all Motte and Bailey style castles.

Castle Fact-file: Colwyn Castle

Name: Colwyn Castle

Type of Castle: Motte and Bailey

Also Known As: /

Location: Hundred House, Llandrindod Wells

Postcode: LD1 5RU

What3words: ///tablets.crossword.intruding

Coordinates: 52.1769°N 3.3065°W

Grid Reference: SO10765399

Visited: April 2022

The 131st castle that the Welsh Castle Project have visited.

Colwyn Castle, Llandrindod, is a deep/steep full circle earthworks with a large Motte where now stands a big pink farm house occupied by a rude farmer.

There is not much information to be found about this small ruin.

Colwyn Castle was a medieval castle near Llansantffraed, Powys in mid-Wales. It was built on the site of a Roman fort. The castle was captured in 1196 by Rhys ap Gruffydd, who was campaigning against the Normans. It was rebuilt in 1242 by Ralph de Mortimer to protect the lordship of Maelienydd.”

Earthworks and steep motte of Colwyn Castle

Castle Fact-file: Cefnllys Castle(s)

Name: Cefnllys Castle(s)

Type of Castle: Spur Castle/s, Motte and Bailey

Also Known As: Old Castle Mound, Cefnllys Medieval Settlement

Location: Unnamed Road, Llandrindod Wells

Postcode: LD1 5PD

What3words: ///enlighten.mascot.slap (castle one) and; ///modest.trending.pile (castle two)

Coordinates: 52.2438°N 3.3353°W

Grid Reference: SO09206303

Castle History:

c. 1093–95 (motte-and-bailey castle)

c. 1242 (first masonry castle)

1273–74 (second masonry castle)

Norman invasion of Wales (1067–1100s)

Anglo-Welsh war (1256–67)

Revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn (1294–95)

Revolt of Owain Glyndŵr (1400–15)

Visited: April 2022

The 132nd and 133rd castles that the Welsh Castle Project have visited. – Cefnllys castle(s) Llandrindod, two for the price of one! I’ve been here before and didn’t even know they were castles. Two successive masonry castles were built on a ridge above the River Ithon known as Castle Bank (Welsh: Craig y Castell, ‘castle rock’) they were strategically important within the Welsh Marches.

Up a steep natural hill is the earthworks for two separate castles both on the same hill (at either ends) piles of rubble and ditches and earthworks are all that remain great views across wide basin valley.

The castle was captured and slighted in 1262 by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, during a war with Henry III of England. Cefnllys is featured prominently in the ensuing Treaty of Montgomery. The construction of a new castle on the south-east side of the hill by Roger Mortimer was a contributing factor to Llywelyn’s refusal to swear fealty to Edward I in 1275, leading to war in 1277.

The castle may have been sacked during the revolts of Madog ap Llywelyn (1294–1295) and Owain Glyndŵr (1400–1415), but remained occupied until at least the mid-15th century, when it was described in a series of poems by the bard Lewys Glyn Cothi.

Both castles on Castle Bank are now entirely ruinous and only traces remain; the sole surviving medieval structure at Cefnllys is St Michael’s Church below.

Tips for visiting:

Park at the bottom of the hill, car parking area identified as ‘Bailey Einon’. Cross the little bridge and head towards the church you can see. There’s an information board in St Michael’s church about the area. From the church you can see the steep slope to the East, follow the circular path around the hill rather than the track that goes straight up as it’s equidistant and easier to walk up.

View from the first Cefnllys castle looking out to the second later castle to the north along the plateau on the spur. the stone rubble in the foreground is not contemporary of the castles though likely came from the castles
View from the 1st Cefnllys Castle looking North along the plateau towards the site of the 2nd castle at the other end of the spur.
Aerial shot of Cefnllys Castles, earthwork ditches on a spur hill near Llandrindod Powys.
Aerial shot of Cefnllys Castles, earthwork ditches on a spur hill near Llandrindod Powys.

Castle Fact-file: Neuadd Castle

Name: Neuadd Castle

Type of Castle: Motte and Bailey

Also Known As: Neuadd Wen Mound, Siambr ddu, Llys Wgan.

Location: Walnut Close, Llandrindod Wells

Postcode: LD1 5PE

What3words: ///unwraps.wolf.expires

Coordinates: 52.248369, -3.368283

Grid Reference: SJ04221140

Visited: April 2022

The 134th castle that the Welsh Castle Project have visited.

Neuadd Castle, Llandrindod, tiered banks where a farmhouse now stands are probably all that remains of Neuadd Wen Mound Also known as; Siambr ddu.

Now a farmhouse, was anciently the mansion of Meredydd ab Cynan ab Owain Gwynedd, Prince of Wales, and appears, from the few remains of the old building which have been found among some rubbish at the back of the present house, to have been erected about the eleventh or twelfth century: among these vestiges were the ruins of an arched window, with mouldings of freestone, in the style of that age. This mansion was once called Llys Wgan, from a rivulet near the spot.”

When we struggled to find the castle we asked the farmer in the house where the coordinates took us. They knew there were lots of castles in Powys but were unaware that there was any castle ruins in the area, let alone under their farmhouse! When leaving we noticed the farmhouse is sited on a series of banks, we suspect these are what remains of the castles earthworks.

Tiered banks below the farmhouse, all that remains of what was once Neuadd Castle

Castle Fact-file: Cymaron Castle

Name: Cymaron,

Type of Castle: Motte and Bailey

Also Known As: Cwm Aran or Castell Gemaron

Location: Lower Sign/Llanbister Rd, Llandrindod Wells

Postcode: LD1 6SP

What3words: ///deep.plump.pill

Coordinates: 52.324668, -3.244996

Grid Reference: SO 1524670349

Visited: April 2022

The 135th castle that the Welsh Castle Project have visited.

Cymaron, or Cwm Aran, Llandrindod, is initially hard to find and not as grand as was expected, for a supposed ‘abandoned medieval ghost town’. Just a simple steep Motte and bailey earthworks with more severe than standard outer sides, earthworks round in an angled semi-circle.

The motte is roughly rectangular and stands up to 50 feet high in a bailey 125 feet by 70 feet in diameter. It was destroyed twice in the 12th century by the Welsh, and again in the 13th, each time being rebuilt. It was in use until the late 14th century.”

Castell Cwm Aran with convenient signpost framing it
Castell Cwm Aran, llandrindod, Powys
The steep ditches and basin Motte of Cwm Aran Castle

Castle Fact-file: Tomen Bedd Urge

Name: Tomen Bedd Urge

Type of Castle: Motte and Bailey

Also Known As: Tomen Buddurge; Tomen Bedd Turc; Bedd-y-gre


Postcode: LD1 6SH

What3words: ///ironclad.myth.draw

Coordinates: 52.317607,-3.320745

Grid Reference: SO 1007069655

Visited: April 2022

The 136th castle that the Welsh Castle Project have visited. Tomen Bedd Urge, up from the farm up the gentle slope up past the pond and to the highest nearby hill to find what remains of this old Motte and bailey, shallow earthworks and a small dome-like steep Motte are all that remain.

Castle was perhaps built by Cadwallon. In style this castle appears Welsh because it sits high on a hill top rather than low in a valley like Norman castles of this time. A rectangular crop-mark, some distance from the motte possibly marks the site of the llys, or local royal hall.”

Tips for visiting:

The site pinpointed as being the Tomen Bedd Urge motte and bailey is not quite accurate. The Google pinpoint marks of the site of the ‘Royal Hall’ not the site of the fortification. If you carry on up the hill past the banks which may be the royal hall, keep going up past the pond and you can see the unmistakable remnants of the classic Motte and Bailey at the highest point of the hill. It is unclear if this ‘Royal Hall’ is classed as a separate castle, or if they are treated as one.

Medieval pond that fed the ‘palace’ behind (South) and Tomen Bedd Urge Motte and Bailey keep on the summit of the hill (North).
Views from Tomen Bedd Urge Motte as it’s stormed by an eight year old.

Castle Fact-file: Castell y Blaidd

Name: Castell y Blaidd

Type of Castle: Motte and Bailey

Also Known As: Wolfs Castle

Location: Glyndwr’s Way, Knighton

Postcode: LD1 6YG

What3words: ///sharpened.snack.elders

Coordinates: 52.409161,-3.287889

Grid Reference: SO 1249079798

Visited: April 2022

The 137th castle that the Welsh Castle Project have visited and the seventh and final castle in Powys we visited before the car died.

Castell y Blaidd, this medium-sized Motte and bailey with two rings of earthworks the outer shallow ditch and the inner high ditch is all that remains of this Fort.

The ramparts describe an open-ended oval, defined by ditches and counter-scarp earthworks. The entire enclosure measures 35 metres wide and 55 metres long, with a wide entrance opening at the west end. It is thought that the enclosure was never finished.”

Tips for visiting:

This motte and bailey ruined castle in Powys is remote, we followed a farm track for some time, having to open and shut gates along the route. Once we found the site we then followed the satnav to our next planned castle, However, the road was so bumpy and uneven and the stopping and starting to open gates, the wind turbine signs saying ‘exit’, but pointing us deeper into the wilderness until the track just abruptly stopped… Poor road conditions in conjunction with getting lost in the hills is likely why a few miles down the road, once we eventually got out, damaged our car quite badly. If you try to visit this castle we highly recommend going back the way you came after you found it, DON’T rely on your satnav and don’t go down THAT track. Good luck

Indigo walking along the higher inner earthworks of Castell y Blaidd motte and bailey, the shallower outer ditch is where the fence posts are.
Indigo walking along the ridge of Castell y Blaidd

There are many more castles in Powys yet to explore, this was just in one of the many postal areas in the county. We’ll be back up this way soon to tackle another postal area.

Thank you for adventuring with us!

If you have anything you’d like to know about these castle ruins, anything to add, edit, compliment or criticise please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

- Dom and Indigo

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Involved with The Welsh Castle Project