Probably the largest ancient monument in Rhiwbina, the Twmpath is a late 11th / early 12th century Norman Motte and Bailey. Situated on an outlying, lower flank of the Wenallt, the Twmpath would have commanded good views of the area when it was in use. The Twmpath can be found off Wenallt Road, a hundred yards or so South of the bridge which crosses the M4 carrying Wenallt Road, and a hundred yards or so West of Wenallt Road itself.

At one time, there were two motte and bailey castles in northern Cardiff. One located in Whitchurch - and levelled in an act of stupidity earlier in the 20th century - and the other which still stands today called the Twmpath, on the Northern edge of Rhiwbina.


The Bailey of the Twmpath still stands a good 20 feet high, although it has a fair amount of tangled vegetation covering it, which makes it hard to discern its original purpose. The Twmpath still retains the surrounding Motte in a somewhat shallower form of ditch.

Associated Legends

The Twmpath is associated with two local legends, one which refers to it being a burial mound erected about 1089 for Iestyn ap Gwrgan, Lord of Glamorgan, although you don`t usually see burial mounds with deep ditches around them! The second legend refers to a story where the Devil piles up some earth in the form of a mound.

Current Status

By the 1990's, it had been mooted that the land on which the Twmpath stood may be sold to property developers, and the Twmpath may be destroyed just to built a few houses and a road, to line the pockets of a few people with no sense of history. As of 2001, the Council and local community feeling had prevented this happening. It awaits to see whether short term greed wins out over long term protection of a popular local ancient monument. No doubt the property developers, who are hardly known for community or ecological credentials, (or common sense for that matter), will try again, and in my opinion, I'm sure somewhere along the line, someone with no concept of history will take some backhanders to try and destroy an important part of Rhiwbina's history.