riginally this castle was a motte and bailey castle built several years after the Norman Conquest by Philip de Braose, one of William the Conqueror's Norman followers. The castle was built on high ground in the town of Builth in the Welsh Marshes overlooking an important crossing of the River Wye. The castle was attacked by the Welsh and over time the castle's defences were improved. In 1277 Edward I ordered that the castle was to be rebuilt. A new stone castle was constructed on the site. Nothing remains on the site above ground now as the castle was badly damaged by fire in the late sixteen hundreds and the remains of the castle were used for building material in the town. It is thought that castle had a stone keep on the motte and this was surrounded by a curtain wall with 6 towers. Although there is not much to see at the castle now it is possible to visit the site and walk over the mounds and ditches.

Builth Castle Key Facts
CountyPowys (11 castles)
DirectionsAt the centre of Builth Wells.
CategoriesMotte & Bailey / Stone / Edward I
RemainsEarthworks only
Access to siteUnknown - Please check before visiting

1277   Construction of Builth Castle
 Edward I orders improvements to be made to the castle at Builth.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  

Motte and Bailey Castles

Virtual reconstruction

The Norman Conquerors built their castles in locations where they could keep control of the local populations of Saxons or at important locations such as river crossings or on key roads. Many motte and bailey castles were built on the border with Wales to try and keep the Welsh at bay. The advantage of this type of castle was that it was quick to construct. Making a fortification from wood was much easier than making one of stone.


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