Coed Craig Ruperra

Iron Age Hillfort

Ruperra Motte, also referred to as Craig Ruperra Motte, known in Welsh as Castell Breiniol or Castell y Ddraenen, is a medieval castle consisting of a motte and bailey located in the community of Rudry, near the village of Draethen, in the Caerphilly County Borough, on the border with Newport in southwest Wales. This historical site is a Scheduled Monument and is part of the Grade II listed Registered Historic Park & Garden, which also encompasses Ruperra Castle.

The earliest occupation of the site was in the iron age when a hillfort was built on the crest of the ridge. Long and narrow, it was defended by the sharp drop to the south and steep earthen banks and ditches to the sides.

Ruperra Motte, originally an Iron Age hillfort known as Craig Ruperra Hillfort, is a medieval castle consisting of a Norman-style motte and bailey structure. Constructed around 1100, it featured a wooden castle on top of the motte. Strategically located on the Coed Craig Ruperra ridge, the castle was chosen for its commanding view of the surrounding area. It is believed to have been built as part of the Norman invasion of southeast Wales. However, with the later construction of the larger Caerphilly Castle in 1274, Ruperra Motte fell into disuse and was abandoned.

Coed Craig Ruperra, including Ruperra Motte, has been under the ownership of Ruperra Conservation Trust since 2000. Today, no traces remain above ground of the original wooden buildings that once stood at the castle. The motte itself stands at a height of 6 meters and has a diameter of 12 meters at the top. Cadw, the organization responsible for protecting historic buildings and structures in Wales, recognizes the site’s national importance as a multi-period defensive site, featuring well-preserved remains of a hillfort, motte, and 18th-century garden features. The site is remarkably preserved and holds significant archaeological potential. The motte is a Scheduled Monument within the Grade II listed Registered Historic Park & Garden, which also encompasses Ruperra Castle.

Sites near Coed Craig Ruperra