ABSTRACT

Prior to the use of mortared masonry, castles in Wales and the Marches were made of earth and timber, for example at Hen Domen (Powys) (Higham and Barker 2000), or drystone walling, as at Carn Fadryn (Gwynedd) (Avent 1983, 7). Mortared masonry construction was used for 11th- and 12th-century Norman castles, such as Chepstow (Monmouthshire) and Cardiff, and almost all castles constructed in Wales from the 13th century onwards. By the late 12th century, it was being used by Welsh princes and lords; in 1171, 'the Lord Rhys had built with stone and mortar the castle of Cardigan' (BT 155). Analysis of the material holding together the walls in Phases 1 and 2 of Dryslwyn Castle indicates that it had a low lime content (< 36%) and was thus a lime-rich earth, rather than a mortar (Section 6.3).