The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record
 

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USK CASTLE / BRYN-BUGA

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 02021g
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Community : Usk
NGR : SO3767701089
Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval Castle
Legal Protection : scheduled ancient monument , listed building I

Summary :
Phillips notes that this masonry edifice castle was built on a natural rock outcrop and mentioned by Giraldus Cambrensis in his description of the course of the Usk River. William Marshal is one of the candidates thought to have built Usk Castle before 1189, though de Clare is also thought to have been responsible for its construction pre-1174. It is noted that Cadw suggest a castle was built here following the Norman conquest due to its strategic position on a Roman road, though it is countered by the fact that fitz Osbern didn’t build mottes in general with the exception of Clifford. Phillips notes that there is no documentary evidence dating before 1185, and that no motte is known to have existed on this masonry site (Phillips 2004).

Description :
Phillips notes that this masonry edifice castle was built on a natural rock outcrop and mentioned by Giraldus Cambrensis in his description of the course of the Usk River. William Marshal is one of the candidates thought to have built Usk Castle before 1189, though de Clare is also thought to have been responsible for its construction pre-1174. It is noted that Cadw suggest a castle was built here following the Norman conquest due to its strategic position on a Roman road, though it is countered by the fact that fitz Osbern didnt build mottes in general with the exception of Clifford. Phillips notes that there is no documentary evidence dating before 1185, and that no motte is known to have existed on this masonry site (Phillips 2004).

An evaluation was carried out as part of an application for Sheduled Monument Status in 2001, and There was no archaeological resource of significance within the evaluation area. Trial Excavation 6 was the only place to produce an archaeological resource, situated close to the boundary of the proposed marquee near the electricity cable. The bedrock shows no evidence of being leveled at any point. Most of the Finds came from the topsoil and an area of modern fill beneath the topsoil.
In trial box 6, Paved flooring with a stone drain was unearthed, with sherds of ridge tile, some iron, a bronze vessel with possible gold leaf traces and a smaller fragment of bronze with possible gold leaf, on the surface of the paving. A stone drain based on the bedrock running from the paving to the south is deemed to run outside the evaluation area and in no danger from the marquees.
Ceramics recovered were mostly fragments of medieval ridge tile. They were produced in the Usk region. A 13th-15th century date bracket is proposed because of the thickness, firing and style of the ridge tiles. However, they are not useful for dating the contexts as they still could be reused after being on a roof for hundreds of years. 1 small fragment was part of a ridge tile from the Malvern kilns dated to 14th/15th centuries. Small Iron finds and the stone paving or drains is not datable. Two sherds of medieval cooking pottery most likely produced locally (although the design is similar to Bristol) likely from the 12th century. A few sherds of jugs were of the same local fabric as the roof tiles, most likely to be 13th century. (Clarke, 2001)


Sources :
Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust , Site Visit Record
Cadw , Application for Scheduled Monument Consent
Hughes, S , 2010 , Letter re: Usk Castle - Application for Scheduled Monument Consent
Cadw , Application for Scheduled Monument Consent
Cadw , Application for Grant Aid
Sir R Colt Hoare , 1804 , Tour in Wales
Phillips, N Dr , 2004 , Thesis: Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050 – 1250
Clarke, S , 2001 , Usk Castle: Evaluation
01/MM Desc Text/Knight JK/1977/Usk Castle/Ancient Monuments and their Interpretations
02/PM List/Cadw/1995/Application for Scheduled Monument Consent
03/Desc Text/Cadw/ancient monuments and archaeological areas act/2009/copy in further information file

Events :
E004063 : Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050 – 1250 (year : 2004)
E002589 : Usk Castle EVAL (year : 2001)

Related PRNs :


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