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Henry's Moat

In the village of Henry's Moat, Pembrokeshire, behind the church.
51:54:43N 04:50:35W

Photographs and text copyright by John Northall.

With acknowledgements to the
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

 

Above: The eastern side of the motte at Henry's Moat.

The small motte of Henry's Moat castle was probably built by Norman invaders some time in the 11th century. It was situated near an Iron Age fort on the edge of a small river valley in the foothills of the Presceli mountains and guarded the high-water mark of Norman expansion into south-west Wales.

The damaged castle mound is around 15 feet high and 35 feet across it's top. There is a shallow depression in the centre of the motte, which may indicate that an earth-filled box rampart (the likes of which can be seen in cross-section on the Bayeaux tapestry) enclosed its upper periphery.

Above: The western side of the motte looking over the valley towards lower ground.

The choked remains of a protective ditch lie on the western side of the motte but later small-scale quarrying of the slate on which it stands has altered the eastern edge of the castle and it's true defensive arrangements on that side cannot be seen.

Henry's Moat was never developed past the first stage of rapid construction and may have been superseded by the larger New Moat castle a few miles away to the south-east.

 

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