Castell Ddu – Reviewing the Walk

Returning to my starting point in my local park on my walk this week, I had a last glimpse of the marshes on the Loughor Estuary. The light was still strong as there was not a cloud to be seen and the air was clear.

Reviewing the walk, I am reminded that although I have called it the Castell Ddu Walk, the castle, or what remains of it does not feature in the images other than the related nearby motte situated at the side of the motorway. The link and quoted text below gives some information on the place.

looking across the marshes

The soundscape for this walk is a little longer than my usual 4 minutes. There were a number of changes in the ambience of the walk as well as details that I was keen to include – the changing sound of my footsteps as I walk under the railway bridge or the hard crunch of them on the frosty field. I also like the contrast of sound provided by the motorway traffic with the soft flow of water or the daily lives of the local birds. Click the play button below to enjoy my aural experience while looking through the gallery of images.

Castell Ddu Walk Soundscape

Castell Ddu

... At the confluence of Gwili and Llwchwr on the Carmarthenshire
side of the river, there are large earthworks reputed by Col. W. LI.
Morgan to be the site of Ystum Enlle with considerable outworks
some yards away on the opposite side of a large river loop.
But returning to the Glamorgan side we find in a field on the
north of the lane to the church a massive and significant mound
it is a motte and bailey castle, probably the site of Castell Ddu first
mentioned in Llyfr Coch Hergest. Its local name is Banc y rhyfel
and its important associations with early Welsh history are as yet
scarcely appreciated. Col. W. LI. Morgan in his Antiquarian Survey
of East Gower very properly suggests that the earthworks on the
other side of the river are later developments of the same site, and
after comparison with similar sites elsewhere in Wales it is safe to
conclude that Banc y rhyfel is the original motte and bailey of the
first wooden Castell Ddu which was in occupation until the more
elaborate Castell Ddu near the river-crossing was completed. A
farm nearby is still called Castell Ddu."...




Posted in Field Recording, Photography, Reviewing the Walk, Soundscape, Walks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


    • It’s Welsh and is pronounced “Th”. Language(s) is/are fascinating and there are many other interesting rules and pronunciations in Welsh. Double “l” – “Ll” is one but I can’t easily tell you to pronounce it but it’s worthwhile plenty of spit in your mouth lol.

      • We have visited England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but have yet to make it over to Wales. Someday we’ll come and listen to the language. We were stumped by the Glaswegians last year and they were speaking English!

        • You will be very welcome. The first time I came to Wales and heard them speaking I was certain they were speaking Welsh – I was wrong, it was English but the accent was so different to what I was used to. You’ll have the greatest fun trying to pronounce the written language as you may have guessed. It’s a beautiful little country

  1. Hi Alistair, I was wondering if you know the land owner were the castell Ddu is? I would love to ask permission to do metal detecting on the land, love finding history.
    Any information would be very helpful.
    Thank you in advance
    Best regards

    Sonia Luis

    • I could probably find out for you but don’t hold your breath Castell Ddu does not consist of anything much now but it’s gives a good point of access to and view of the Loughor estuary. You could try looking/asking in Pontarddulais library.

  2. Thank you so much, any help is very appreciated, I have read lots of history about pontardullais but not much about the castell Ddu not even pictures of the castell. I will try and pop into the library and see if they can help. Let me know if you found something out, if o get permition to detect and find historical things I will keep you posted.


    Sonia Luis

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