History Holt Castle

Archaeologists from Wrexham Museum have discovered portions of the lost defences of Holt Castle.

The castle was built by John de Warenne at the end of the 13th century following the final defeat of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd by King Edward 1.

The pentagonal castle was defended by five massive round towers, however following its final surrender to Parliamentary forces towards the end of the Civil War, the castle was used as a ready source of building stone, initially to build one of Eaton Hall’s predecessors, and more recently by anyone needing stone.

So much robbing has taken place at the site over the last 300 years that only the central pentagonal courtyard still survives above ground.

In 2012 archaeologists uncovered the bedrock platform of one of the towers to the west side of the castle, this year they have gone one better and discovered a fragment of the actual wall of a tower on the east side of the castle.

Stephen Grenter who is directing the excavations on behalf of the museum said “It’s very exciting to see traces of what was once a massive 4 storey tower still surviving, we had feared that all traces of the castles original defences had been lost by stone robbing but thankfully they didn’t quarry it all away’

The excavations, which finish today, are funded under the Rural Development Programme administered by Northern Marches Cymru and by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments.’