Lampeter Castle was built during the Norman expansion into Wales in the late 1080s. It lies on one of the main trade routes through to the North of Wales and so the market town of Lampeter emerged over time. The castle was razed in the 1130s by a Welsh raid and was never rebuilt. Until the Statute of Wales in 1284 Lampeter was fiercely contested between the English and the Welsh for trade.

The motte is to be found at the back of the Old Building at the university. It is not very big, no more than 100 feet (30 m) wide at the bottom and no more than 20 to 25 feet (6.1 to 7.6 m) at the top, and these are very approx dimensions.