Llanelltyd – Cymer Castle

History

   The earliest mention of the Welsh castle Cymer dates from 1116 and is also the oldest record of a native Welsh castle that can be identified today. It was then supposed to be erected by Uchdrd ap Edwin, who got the surrounding lands from Prince of Powys, Cadwgan ap Bleddyn. When the prince died in 1116, Uchdryd erected the castle without permission, but in the same year Cadwgan’s successors sent army to Cymer, chased the founder of the castle away and burnt its building.

Architecture

   The castle was built of wood on a semi-circular, earth mound about 13 meters in diameter and today’s height reaching up to 4.5 meters. There are no traces of the moat or defensive ditch. On the hill there are ruins of a building with dimensions of 6.7 to 7.5 meters with walls about 1 meter thick, above a basement with massive foundations. Above it, the building had at least two more storeys. In the south – west corner there was a fireplace and on the opposite side there was a staircase. The building is described as a warning tower from the 16th century or a hunting lodge of abbots from Cymer.

Current state

   The castle has not survived to the present day, only the mound and relics of the later 16th-century building in the form of two walls are visible. Entrance to the castle area is free.

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bibliography:
Davis P.R., Castles of the Welsh Princes, Talybont 2011.

Website coflein.gov.uk, Mound, Castell Cymmer.
Website gatehouse-gazetteer.info, Cymmer Castle, Llanelltyd.