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HER Number (PRN):00865
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1019835: Bryn-y-Castell

Monument Types

  • FORT? (Early Saxon to Mid Saxon - 410 AD to 800 AD)
  • LOOKOUT? (Early Saxon to Mid Saxon - 410 AD to 800 AD)
  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)


Scheduled Monument: A well-preserved example of a medieval motte (a Norman earthwork castle), built alongside the much earlier Wat's Dyke and quite possibly reusing it as a defensive outwork.

Parish:Selattyn and Gobowen, Oswestry, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ33SW
Grid Reference:SJ 3039 3404

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA850 - Undated field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA851 - 1983 field observation by Shropshire County Council


Possible ringwork castle sited in a prominent position on the end of a spur of land overlooking the R. Perry to the N, in which direction the ground falls away steeply as it does to the E. The site takes the form of an almost circular raised mound standing on the highest point of the natural spur. It measures c35m in diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. There is a slight but definite trace of a ditch on its W side. The site is best interpreted as a ringwork rather than a motte due to the lack of height of the mound, which does not appear to have been levelled......All trace of any ditch that may have run along the W side of the mound has been obliterated by the building of a C19 chapel..In doing so it has also destroyed the portion of Wats Dyke which previously ran N/S here....the exact relationship of (Bryn Y Castell) with the Dyke cannot now be determined due to the C19 chapel. ..Bryn Y Castell may have been the site of a lookout post/ fort placed forward of the Dyke but contemporary with it. There is a slight suggestion of a low bank around the W edge of the mound, and on the E side a small area of the mound appears to be very slightly raised, suggesting a possible building platform. There is no obvious trace of any bailey or attached additional enclosure <3>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 20 Ringworks <11>

Scheduled in 2001 as a motte castle, along with an accompanying section of Wat's Dyke. Relevant part of Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle, traditionally known as Bryn-y-Castell, meaning the castle on the hill, and an adjacent section of Wat's Dyke, which lie within two separate areas of protection. The motte occupies an elevated position at the northern end of a spur above the flood plain of the River Perry. From this location there are extensive views of the uplands to the west and the undulating lowlands to the east. The motte lies immediately to the west of Wat's Dyke, an earlier territorial boundary. ->

-> The motte is oval in plan, measuring approximately 46m by 60m at its base and 36m by 44m across the top. In order to create a level building platform, in relation to the sloping ground on which its stands, the height of the motte increases from 0.7m on the western side to 1.7m on its southern side, where the natural slope appears to have been artificially enhanced. The deep cut into the eastern side of the spur for the construction of Preeshenlle United Reformed Church in the 19th century has partly removed the lower portion of the edge of the motte on this side. The church is not included in the .scheduling. A ditch was constructed around the motte, except to the north east where the natural slope is steepest. The ditch, which is visible as a shallow depression about 6m wide to the west, has become infilled over the years, but will survive as a buried feature. ->

-> In the medieval period [the adjacent] section of the Dyke may have been reused to serve as a defensive outwork to the castle. ->

-> The electricity poles and all fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included <12>

Photographed during aerial survey in 2010. <13>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 00865 (Card index). SSA20722.

<01a> Chitty Lily F, Map annotation by OS Correspondent (Map annotation). SSA10804.

<01b> Catherall W, 1855, History of Oswestry: comprising the British, Saxon, Norman and English Eras, p2 (Monograph). SSA1538.

<01> Ordnance Survey, 1977, Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ33SW1 (Card index). SSA3176.

<02> Tyler Alan W, Visit Notes (Site visit report). SSA3179.

<03> Watson Michael D, 1983-Feb-04, Site Visit Form, 04/02/1983 and 07/10/1983 (Field recording form). SSA3178.

<04> Watson Michael D, 1988, Scheduling Proposal Form (AM107) (Scheduling proposal form (AM107)). SSA3173.

<05> Watson Michael D, 1984, Ringwork, Bryn-y-Castell (Photograph). SSA3177.

<06> Various, 1983, Correspondence, 1983 (Correspondence). SSA3174.

<07> Various, 1988, Correspondence, 1988 (Correspondence). SSA3175.

<08> Musson Chris R, 1986-Jun-18, CPAT 86/MB/0586 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA16808.

<10> Anon, 1983-Jan/Feb, Bryn Y Castell, Ringwork (Photograph). SSA12829.

<11> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File, Ringworks (TEXT). SSA20084.

<12> English Heritage, 2001, Scheduling Papers (New Scheduling, 09/05/2001) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA20558.

<13> Shropshire Council, 2010-Jan-7, SA1001_082 to SA1001_086 (5 photos) Flight: 10_SA_01 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA26083.


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00865.
[01a]SSA10804 - Map annotation: Chitty Lily F. Map annotation by OS Correspondent.
[01b]SSA1538 - Monograph: Catherall W. 1855. History of Oswestry: comprising the British, Saxon, Norman and English Eras. p2.
[01]SSA3176 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ33SW1. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ33SW1.
[02]SSA3179 - Site visit report: Tyler Alan W. Visit Notes.
[03]SSA3178 - Field recording form: Watson Michael D. 1983-Feb-04. Site Visit Form, 04/02/1983 and 07/10/1983. SMR site visit form.
[04]SSA3173 - Scheduling proposal form (AM107): Watson Michael D. 1988. Scheduling Proposal Form (AM107).
[05]SSA3177 - Photograph: Watson Michael D. 1984. Ringwork, Bryn-y-Castell. Colour.
[06]SSA3174 - Correspondence: Various. 1983. Correspondence, 1983.
[07]SSA3175 - Correspondence: Various. 1988. Correspondence, 1988.
[08]SSA16808 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1986-Jun-18. CPAT 86/MB/0586. Black and White. Medium.
[10]SSA12829 - Photograph: Anon. 1983-Jan/Feb. Bryn Y Castell, Ringwork. Black and white. 35mm.
[11]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File. Ringworks.
[12]SSA20558 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 2001. Scheduling Papers (New Scheduling, 09/05/2001). 33845.
[13]SSA26083 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2010-Jan-7. SA1001_082 to SA1001_086 (5 photos) Flight: 10_SA_01. Colour. Digital.
Date Last Edited:Nov 2 2016 8:24AM