After conquering England in 1066 the Normans soon penetrated into Wales. As they advanced they built their motte
and bailey castles at strategic points to cover their lines of communication and subdue local inhabitants. These
early castles were simple in design and construction. A mound was thrown up leaving a ditch around it and a timber
outpost or 'castle' was built on the mound where an armed guard could be mounted. A bailey or stockade (a fenced enclosure)
provided protection for goods and chattels and certain living quarters for the garrison.
After 1093 Roger Montgomery and his Norman army penetrated as far as Cardigan and motte and bailey castles were constructed
to cover the river crossings at Newcastle Emlyn (overlooking the bridge at Adpar) and at Cenarth. The motte and bailey castle
at Cenarth was located in Parc y Doman (the field of the mound) which lies immediately behind the White Hart Inn. The mound itself,
when measured during the last century, was some 20 feet high and some 450 feet in circumference, and lying as it did on rather
elevated ground was in a commanding position to control the river crossing.