Trefilan Castle
Trefilan Castle
Trefilan Castle is a large motte beside the parish church of Trefilan, begun by Maelgwyn, the son of Lord Rhys. It was finished by Maelgwyn's son, Maelgwyn Fychan, about 1233. It was probably used by the Welsh rulers of central Ceredigion as an administrative centre.

It is composed of a flat-topped oval mound defended by a moat. The site measures roughly 40m x 35m, oriented on a north-south axis, and the mound rises to roughly 5.4m high. The top of the mound is oval shaped and measures 15m x 12m. On the summit are stone foundations dating to the 13th century.

The moat at the base of the mound is about 60m in diameter. Though dry now, it is thought to have been filled with water.

South-west of the moated mound in the neighbouring farm field are remains of the outer bailey. The bailey earthworks can be traced as a ditch about 0.5m wide, running in an arc to a gateway immediately west of the modern road. The entire area enclosed by the bailey measures about 123m x 87m, with the motte at the north-eastern part of the enclosure.

Its last appearance in the pages of history comes in 1282, after Edward I put down the Welsh rebellion in that year. Edward's troops discovered 3000 cattle penned at Trefilan, presumably in an attempt by the Welsh to hide them from the English. The English burned the 'house' at Trefilan, which presumably meant the castle.