Clifford Castle

  • Clifford, Herefordshire.
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument.


Medieval motte and bailey castle covering 2 acres with the motte measuring 55 m in diameter and standing 8 m high. Had a polygonal keep and hall and a chapel in the bailey.

The Clifford family took their name from the castle.

Skeletons have been found in the bailey.


1066-1071                   Built by William FitzOsbern to help secure South Wales.

1071                            Defended by William FitzOsbern.

1071                            22nd February: William FitzOsbern died at the Battle of Cassel, in Flanders. It was then held by Earl Roger FitzOsbern.

1075                            The castle was given to Ralph Tosney, brother-in-law of Earl Roger, after the Earl was placed in prison for following a revolt.

1113                            Walter de Clifford was born at the castle.

1134                            Henry de Clifford was born at the castle.

1136                            Rosamund de Clifford was born at the castle.

1138                            Until: The Tosney family held the castle.

1139                            Amecia de Clifford was born at the castle.

1141                            Lucia de Clifford was born at the castle.

1144                            Roger Tosney’s steward, Walter Fitz Richard, married Roger’s sister and called himself Walter de Clifford, refusing to give the castle back to Earl Roger.

1150                            Walter de Clifford was born at the castle.

1151                            Richard de Clifford was born at the castle.

1153                            Robert de Clifford was born at the castle. Roger de Clifford was born at the castle.

1154-1189                   Between: Henry II’s Fair Rosamund lived at the castle. Henry stayed at the castle during his Welsh campaigns.

1155                            Simon de Clifford was born at the castle.

1156                            Hugh de Clifford was born at the castle.

1157                            William de Clifford was born at the castle.

12 C                            Owned by the Clifford family.

1220                            Stone curtain on motte built by Walter de Clifford.

1233                            Henry III stayed at the castle.

1233                            Walter Clifford, grandson of the first Walter, rebelled against Henry III and the castle was reinstated to the Tosney family following a short siege.

1243                            Roger de Clifford (3) was born at the castle.

1260’s                         John Gifford of Brimsfield used the castle as his main base, kidnapped Matilda, daughter of Walter Clifford, and forced her to marry him.

1263                            Walter Clifford died.

1263-1264                   Walter de Clifford died at the castle.

169                              Roger de Clifford (3) married Isabel Vesport at the castle.

1274                            Robert de Clifford was born at the castle.

1295                            Roger de Clifford married Maude de Clare at the castle.

1299                            John Gifford died and the castle was granted to the Mortimer family, from Wigmore.

13 C                            Castle.

1311                            The castle passed to the Mortimer family who let it fall into disrepair.

1377-1378                   Castle was repaired.

1402                            Early: A garrison was kept at the castle due to the Owain Glyndwr uprising. The defences were improved.

1402                            Sacked by Owain Glyndwr.

16 C                            Until: Still had Constables.

1925                            Roman brooch found on the site.

1928                            Excavated.

1931                            RCHME surveyed the earthworks and stone keep.

1950’s                         Excavated.

1951                            Excavated.

1994                            Aerial photograph. Field Investigation.


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