Mold Castle is a 12th Century Norman motte-and-bailey castle. Today the site is in the centre of the town and it is freely accessible. There are plans to further explore the history of Mold Castle and add a heritage trail.
Mold was built on a high natural glacial mound which may originally have been an ancient burial ground. The castle was built by the Norman Robert de Montalt around 1140.
Montalt is thought to be a corruption of the old French 'mont haut' or high hill. The town of Mold, again a corruption of the castle's name, grew up first around the castle and later around its 15th Century parish church.
The mound that the castle sits on was scarped – the sides were made steeper and the mound was made more conical. The castle itself consisted of a long oblong bailey with a smaller defensive structure in front.
Mold Castle was besieged a number of times by the Welsh princes as they battled with the Anglo-Normans for control of the country. Owain Gwynedd captured the castle for the Welsh shortly after its construction in 1147.
In 1167 King Henry II of England held the castle, but Llywelyn the Great took the castle for the Welsh in 1201. Under Welsh control, Mold Castle was considered a royal castle for the Welsh princes.
It was briefly back in English hands during the 13th Century when Dafydd ap Llywelyn gave the castle back to the de Montalt family, but Dafydd recaptured it just over a decade later in 1245. In the 1270s Edward I finally took Mold as part of his Welsh campaign.
After the death of the last Baron Montalt in a vicious duel in 1329 Mold Castle fell into decay and ruin. The last mention of the castle in the Patent Rolls was in the early 15th Century.
In 1870 Bailey Hill was acquired for the local community and it has been in use as a recreational area for town since then. It was the venue for the National Eisteddfod in 1923 and today the bailey is home to a bowling green.
Cittaslow Mold community group are planning to develop the site at Mold Castle. They're acting in association with Flintshire County Council to develop the site as a heritage attraction and performance venue. Plans are afoot to add signage and notice boards to make up a heritage trail around the castle.
Status: Heritage Site / Recreation area
Owner: Flintshire County Council
Opening Times: Freely accessible.
Outer bailey at Mold Castle
The steps leading up the motte