A Motte and Bailey castle was built in Puncheston during the 12th century.

When the Normans invaded this part of Pembrokeshire they stole the land from the Welsh. The Welsh families who lived on Casfuwch Mountain had to move down country so that the Normans were able to keep an eye on them. The Normans felt that as they had conquered the welsh land then they should be the ones to build the castles.  The workers would be digging up earth and filling baskets with it and then carry it up a slope and dumping the earth on top of a mound. When the mound was high enough they built a wooden tower on top of it.

Motte and Bailey Castle

The owner or lord and his family lived in the tower. Around the tower a wooden fence with a platform on it was built so that the soldiers could keep watch over the countryside around.  This part of a Norman castle is called the Motte.
 

The Bailey is the oval piece of land outside the motte. A number of small buildings were built such as a kitchen, a barn, a chapel, rooms for the soldiers, and a smithy in the bailey.  These were protected by a strong fence and a ditch.  The Motte and Bailey castle in Puncheston was built overlooking the River Angof.

Disadvantages of a wooden Motte and Bailey castle were:

  • The wooden fence would rot.
     
  • It was easy to burn the tower and the wooden fence.
     
  • A number of Motte and Bailey castles were rebuilt later using stones.

 

The Normans soon reached the borders of Wales. William thought that if he could conquer Wales then he would become the King of Britain as well as the Duke of Normandy.

DYFED

Pembroke

Cardigan

Hereford

Shrewsbury

Chester

The Castle