Excavation dates 1991
Archaeologists University of York
Condition Ruin - mainly earthworks remaining
Mathrafal near Welshpool, in Powys, Mid Wales, was the seat of the Kings and Princes of Powys
Powys probably from the 9th century until its destruction in 1212 by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth
Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great) of Gwynedd.
1 Location 2 Description 3 References 4 External links
On the banks of the River Banwy, just above its confluence with the
river Vyrnwy, about 5 km (3 miles) NE of
Llanfair Caereinion and 10 km (6 miles) NW of Welshpool
Welshpool on the A495 at its junction with the B4389.
Entry to the earthworks and view towards the motte
View from the motte
The site known today as "
Mathrafal Castle" is a 90 m by 80 m compound defended by a bank and outer ditch on three sides, the fourth side being the river. Little remains of the original walls. Mathrafal
Mathrafal is the original capital of the Kingdom of Powys, in the cantref of Caereinion. After the division of Powys
Powys in 1160 it became the capital of the southern portion which eventually became known as Powys
Powys Wenwynwyn. This structure probably replaced an earlier hill fort, about 1 km away to the NW, which dates from around 656 at the time of the fall of the neighbouring Kingdom of Pengwern, or perhaps as early as 520 when the capital of Powys
Powys was moved from the old Roman town of Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter). The 35m by 25m by 5m high motte of Mathrafal
Mathrafal Castle dates from around the end of the 12th century and was probably built either by Owain Cyfeiliog (circa 1170) or Robert de Vieuxpont
Robert de Vieuxpont on behalf of King John in 1212. Prince Gwenwynwyn
Gwenwynwyn ab Owain of Powys
Powys moved his capital from Mathrafal
Mathrafal to Welshpool
Welshpool (Y Trallwng) in 1212. Later in 1212, Robert de Vieuxpont was besieged in the castle by the coalition forces of Gwenwynwyn
Gwenwynwyn and Llywelyn the Great, he was rescued by King John. The castle was destroyed and never rebuilt. Excavations by the University of York around 1991 found an iron and bronze figurine of St Gwynllyw
Gwynllyw (or Woolos the Warrior) in a cavity in a window base. References
^ "CPAT Regional Historic Environment Record -
Mathrafal Castle, motte and bailey". CPAT. ^ a b " Mathrafal
Mathrafal Castle". Castle Wales. ^ Ulwencreutz, Lars (2013). Ulwencreutz's The Royal Families in Europe V. p. 50. ^ a b Davies, John (1990). History of Wales. Penguin. ^ Lieberman, Max (2010). The Medieval March of Wales. Cambridge University Press. p. 126. ^ " Mathrafal
Mathrafal Castle". Gatehouse Gazetteer. ^ Yorke, Philip (1887). The Royal Tribes of Wales. Liverpool: Isaac Foulkes. p. 50. ^ Breverton, Terry. Wales' 1000 Best Heritage Sites. Amberley.
Mathrafal on Castle of Wales website Aerial views of the Mathraf