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TOMEN-Y-BALA

Site Details



NPRN 303419

Map Reference SH93NW

Grid Reference SH9280536091

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Merioneth

Community Bala

Type of Site MOTTE

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Medieval

Site Description NAR SH93NW2

A medieval castle mound, one of the largest in Wales, later adapted as a garden feature with a spiral pathway to the summit.
This is a steep sided circular mound, about 40m in diameter and 8.0m high, with a level summit some 16.5m across. This would originally have had timber breastworks and perhaps a high timber tower. The mound would have been ditched about. It is not known whether there were any other fortifications.
The castle can be associated with a manor or llys, a princely court, the head place of Penllyn commote. Its conquest is recorded in 1202 and it may have remained active into the thirteenth century. Edward I was present at Bala in 1284. In about 1310 a borough was laid out south-west of the mount (NPRN 58040/33151). In the early fifteenth century a garrison was present in the town with no mention of the castle.

Source: History of Merioneth II (2001), 410, 231-2

John Wiles 09.07.07

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