Tir y Dail Motte and Bailey Castle, Ammanford

The remains of a medieval castle have lain hidden in the grounds of Cartref at Tir y Dail, Ammanford, almost unnoticed by time and by local people.

Very little is known about this motte and bailey castle. A 12th century date may be likely, but was it built by the Lord Rhys to defend himself from the Normans to the south, or was it built by Normans lords on the edge of their newly conquered territory?

Dyfed Archaeological Trust, with the aid of Cadw, Carmarthenshire County Council, the Hywel Dda Health Board, Ammanford Town Council, Ammanford Archaeology and History Society and local volunteers spent seven days during the summer of 2010 trying to uncover some answers to this enigmatic site.

The construction method of the motte and its associated defences was investigated in the excavations. The dished hollow of the motte was found to be original. No evidence for a stone structure on the motte was discovered, and only limited evidence for a timber structure.

Looking from the outer bank to the motte during the excavation, showing the massive earthworks of the site

Photograph showing the dished top of the motte


Tir y Dail Evaluation Report (in PDF format – opens in new window – 9Mb in size)



Heneb - The Trust for Welsh Archaeology