Medieval motte and bailey castle. Mound levelled.
850 Defences first built.
899-924 Garrisoned under Edward the Elder. Fort on site.
900 Area of defence was enlarged.
1046-1052 Built in timber by Ralph, Earl of Hereford, son of the Count of Vexin, Earl of Hereford. Built at the south east corner of the town.
1052 1055 Suffered serious damage when the Welsh over ran the castle and try to destroy it.
1055 The town was sacked by the Welsh. Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, King of Gwynedd and Powis, and his army, plus Aelfgar the deposed, attacked the castle.
1066 William Fitz Osbern, Earl of Hereford, rebuilt the castle.
1067 Occupied. Edric the Wild taunted the castle garrison.
1071 Roger Fitz Osbern inherited the castle when his father, William, died. He had to forfeit the castle following an unsuccessful attempt to dispose King William.
1100 Built against the outer walls of the town.
1138 Garrisoned by Geoffrey Talbot for Matilda. Held off an attack by King Stephen for a month. Then he took it.
1139 Matilda took the castle when it was besieged by Gilbert Talbot and Miles of Gloucester.
1140 Attacked by supporters of Empress Matilda. Cemetery by the cathedral was the site of siege works. Arrows and stones were fired from the Cathedral tower. Milo of Gloucester attacked the garrison by using more siege engines.
1154 Roger of Gloucester was granted the motte by Henry II, but it was soon taken back following a rebellion.
1181 Limekiln was built to help rebuild part of the decaying castle wall.
1187 Stone walls added?
1190 Castle gates were repaired.
1199-1216 Between: King John visited the castle regularly
1216 Walter de Lacy, Sheriff of Hereford, was granted the castle by King John.
1216-1272 Henry III visited the castle regularly.
1217 Strengthened against threats from the Welsh.
1239 A new tower was built to replace the old one.
1245 Improvements were made to the Royal apartments at a cost of £176 7s 0d. This included the Queen’s chamber being lengthened, a privy chamber, wardrobe and fireplace added. The Kings chamber was whitewashed.
1250 Over £100 was spent on the castle.
1254 The castle was surveyed. The Great Tower roof needed repairing as well as the steps to the motte. The gates leading to the bailey also needed repairing. The River Wye was undermining the wall on the south side of the bailey and £60 was spent on the wall by adding a quay.
1256 New kitchen built.
1260’s Headquarters of the Baronial Party during the Baron’s Wars. Prince Edward was captured at Lewes and brought to the castle, but he managed to escape to Wigmore Castle. A new chamber for the King’s clerk was added.
1264 Held Henry III as a prisoner, but his son, Edward escaped and was able to raise a force.
1281 The sheriff burnt the military stores and the Kings hoses.
1291-1300 Surveys showed the roof of the Great Hall needed repair, 65ft of the curtain wall had fallen and the almonry had been demolished.
13 C Stonework recorded including a Great Tower on the motte. The walls and bridges were in need of repair. The bastions were added.
1307 Repairs undertaken.
1326 Queen Isabella refused to stay in the castle due to its state. She stayed at the Bishop’s Palace instead.
14 C End of: in bad state of repair.
1461 Following the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, Owen Tudor was captured and bought to the castle.
1486 Henry VII visited Hereford.
15 C The chapel of St. Martins, within the bailey, was still standing.
1536 Several people were imprisoned in the castle for sympathizing with the Pilgrimage of Grace, a movement formed against Henry VIII split with Rome.
1540-1546 Itinerary of John Leland: Derelict, abandoned. High, strong towers including ten semi-circular towers surrounding the Great Tower.
1603 Partially pulled down.
1634 In ruins.
1642 Taken by the Earl of Stamford, for Parliament. Lord Scudamore, a Royalist, seized St. Owens Gate, the county magazine.
1642 24th September: The Earl of Essex and 900 horsemen marched on the city. The Mayor surrendered. Tow days later the Parliamentary infantry arrived as its garrison.
1642 14th December: Parliamentary garrison withdrew and Hereford reverted back to Royalist control.
1643 In need of some repair.
1643 25th April: William Waller and his forces took Hereford and captured Lord Scudamore and Fitzwilliam Coningsby.
1643 20th May: Waller withdrew and Hereford was again in Royalist control. They began to repair the city’s defences.
1645 Garrison was installed following the Battle of Naseby. Sieged by the Scots. Lawrence Crawford, one of Fairfax’s officers, was killed whilst the castle was under siege.
1645 18th June: King Charles arrived at Hereford to raise more troops but left on the 30th when he was unable to do so.
1645 31st July: Scottish army in the service of Parliament laud siege to the city. St. Owens and St. Martin’s churches were destroyed by shell fire.
1645 September: The Scottish army withdrew when the heard the Kings army was on the way.
1645 4th September: King Charles arrived at the castle.
1645 December: Taken by Parliament through trickery. Colonal Birch disguised some of his soldiers as workmen. They killed the guards and Birch moved in through Bye Gate. He was made Governor of the city.
1645 After: The castle was given to the Justices of the Peace and they started to demolish it.
1646 30th October: King Charles took possession of the castle.
1647 March: A garrison of 160 was kept at the castle. Some demolition work was carried out.
1650’s Destroyed. Stone was taken to build a dining hall for the Vicars Choral and other city buildings.
1660 c: The castle was sold for £600 to the public.
1677 Dating from: Plan of the castle survives.
1752 The site was leased to the Society of Tempers.
18 C The area was landscaped.
1831 The Society of Tempers was dissolved.
1833 Leased to the County Council.
20 C Bailey still outlines by high banks. Recreation area. A large circular enclosure dating to Neolithic times was found beneath the site.
2001 Mesolithic flint tools found in the centre of the city.