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Internet – Archaeology Data Services [University of York]


Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250: Silver Tump, Craswall

Place name:



1050 - 1250


This summary concerning Silver Tump is an extract from a Doctoral thesis by Dr N Phillips, University of Sheffield (2005), entitled ‘Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng, AD 1050-1250’. This thesis is concerned with the earthwork and timber castles built in the southern March of Wales, addresses the presence of the castles and discusses their roles as weapons of conquest and structures of administrative control.


SILVER TUMP, CRASWALL - Grid: SO 28930 32750




The site of Silver Tump is situated in the Olchon Valley at the south-east foot of the Black Hill. It can be reached from the A465 Abergavenny to Hereford road turning west at Pandy, following the road through Longtown and turning left through Llanveynoe to Little Black Hill.


There are no physical remains of any earthworks at Silver Tump. The site was included in the original response from Hereford SMR at the outset of this research. Its listing SMR record 13050, records aerial photographic images which apparently show a mound with a slight double enclosure. The reference for the photographs is given as 1023 OS 1973 and 3556 OS 1964. It has not been possible to locate the 1964 aerial photograph; however, the 1973 photograph has been included (Vol. 2. plate 228) along with (Vol. 2. plate 229), with the crop marks highlighted. Three features are visible; to the left a right angled line of bank, top right a double linear line and bottom right a curved area bisected by another double line. It is the last feature that is interpreted as ‘a mound and slight double enclosure crop marks, the motte and bailey’ (HWCM 13050). It is not impossible that this is indeed the site of a motte and bailey castle, but it requires excavation or geophysical survey to demonstrate this.

Topographic survey:

There are no physical remains of this site above ground therefore a survey was not relevant.

Strategic position:

There are no observable natural defences in the area and the only recognisable value of this site appears to be its position in rich agricultural land.

Documentary record

Modern reference: HWCM13050

Interpretation: Possible motte and bailey (unknown date)



The material is copyright by the author, and is reproduced here from the Archaeology Data Service website of the University of York for research purposes under their terms of use


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