Tinboeth Castle stands upon a summit 400 metres above sea level. Built within the earthworks of an earlier fortification, the remains seen today date from circa-1276 when Roger Mortimer constructed a substantial stone castle on the site. It was confiscated by the Crown in 1322 and went out of use shortly afterwards.
Tinboeth Castle, which is also known as Castell Dinbaud, was built on the summit of a hill that stands 400 metres above sea level. The site had previously been an Iron Age hillfort and directly overlooks the River Ithon, a major waterway that facilitated access across the region throughout the pre-industrial era. Precisely when the medieval castle was first established is unknown but it may well have been in existence during the thirteenth century in the form of an earth and timber fortification. If so, it was probably abandoned in the mid-thirteenth century but it was re-founded circa-1276 by Roger Mortimer. Tinboeth replaced an earlier Mortimer residence, Castell y Blaidd (Castle of the Wolf), located a few miles to the north-east.
The castle re-used the elliptical shaped earthworks of the earlier fortifications. This consisted of a substantial earthwork rampart fronted by a rock cut ditch. Around 1276 a substantial stone wall was built upon the rampart probably replacing an earlier timber palisade. A twin drum gatehouse, a typical Edwardian style structure, was located on the north side of the castle. A small crescent like enclosure, possibly an Outer Bailey, was located immediately to the east of the castle.
Tinboeth Castle was garrisoned against the Welsh in December 1282, during the height of the Second War of Welsh Independence, but no action is recorded there. It remained the property of the Mortimers until 1322 when it was confiscated due to their support of the Earl of Lancaster's rebellion against Edward II. The castle was seemingly not maintained after this, presumably as the exposed site made it undesirable as a residence.
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Tinboeth Castle consists of the impressive earthworks and slight masonry remains of a short-lived medieval fortress. The views from the summit are fabulous but be aware it is quite a steep climb! Robust footwear is recommended.
Tinboeth Castle. The elliptical shaped earthworks were originally enclosed by a curtain wall and accessed via a large, double drum gatehouse. The dry ditch was cut out of the rock. The area to the east (just beyond the main earthworks in both photographs) was an Outer Bailey.
Tinboeth Castle. The castle is also known as Castell Dinbaud after Matilda (Maud), wife of Roger Mortimer. The castle is sometimes attributed to her but this is incorrect; Roger did not die until late 1282 and the fortification was already a functioning entity by this time.
Gatehouse. The gatehouse was once an impressive double drum structure. However, today only a small section of standing masonry survives.
Earthworks. The castle was surrounded by a dry ditch cut out of the rock. Its depth was enhanced by a counter-scarp bank.
Castle Interior. The castle was originally enclosed by a substantial stone built wall.
Ditch. The original Iron Age ditch was deepened when Roger Mortimer built the castle in the 1270s.
Bailey. A crescent shaped enclosure to the east of the castle is believed to be the Outer Bailey.