Tomen-y-Rhodwydd
Tomen-y-Rhodwydd
One of the best earthwork castles in Wales, Tomen-y-Rhodwydd is a motte and bailey defensive enclosure, with a rampart and ditch, built in 1149 by Owain Gwynedd to exert control over north Powys. The Welsh lord also intended his fortification to be a strategic site that would enable him to seize the rich lands east of the River Clwyd up to the Dee estuary.
The castle had a very short lifetime, and is recorded as destroyed in 1157 when Iorwerth Goch of Powys captured it. However, King John briefly refortified Tomen-y-Rhodwydd in 1212 during his conflict with Llewelyn ap Iorwerth. The remains of Tomen-y-Rhodwydd consist of a roughly circular motte, 38-42 metres across, with a sloping top ranging from 5-8 metres high.

The motte stands in the north east corner of a ditched bailey enclosure defining a crescent, about 46 by 57 metres, on an east-west axis. A counterscarp earthwork defines the entire castle site, which stretches about 90 metres by 118 metres in total.