Roman fort, Medieval castle. Motte with two baileys. Motte castle standing in the corner of a rectangular bailey. The motte measuring 10.6 m high and once held a wooden tower.
Had a twin towered gatehouse protected by a portcullis, added along with the new outer curtain wall which enclosed a rectangular area. A wall runs down the side of the motte to form a right angle with the curtain wall at the northern half of one of the baileys. The rectangular enclosure was bisected by another earthen wall, forming the two outer baileys which sit side by side to the south of the motte. A latrine located in one of the buttresses of the keep. One of the lobes has a staircase and there is a corbelled garderobe going half way up the tower beside it. Three lobes of the tower slightly project at 120 degrees from each other, these acted as buttresses.
1086 Domesday: Land held by Roger de Lacy.
11 C Motte stood 35 ft high.
1140’s-1150’s Possibly built by Hugh de Lacy.
1180’s Built by Walter de Lacy inside an existing rectangular earthen enclosure.
1187 £37 was spent on the castle and Ewyas Harold Castle.
1189 Walter de Lacy inherited the castle.
12-13 C Fought over during the Welsh Marcher wars.
1233 Henry III may have visited the castle.
1234 Walter de Lacy’s son, Gilbert de Lacy, had married Isabel Bigod. When Gilbert died, Isabel married John Fitz Geoffrey and they acquired the castle.
1241 Isabel’s daughter, Margaret, married John de Verdon and the held the castle.
1242-1243 The value of the castle was put at £20
1299 The Priory of Llanthany complained about the castle and cattle rustling.
13 C Walter de Lacy added a stone round keep with walls 15ft thick and three lobate buttresses. It had two storeys with the top one being the Lords living quarters and accessed via a staircase in one of the buttresses. He also built a curtain wall around the bailey.
1300’s Cylindrical Great Tower of sandstone rubble on a battered plinth.
1316 The castle passed by marriage to Bartholomew de Burghersh
1317 The castle was garrisoned by 30 men who were under the orders of the Sheriff of Hereford.
1324 Complaints continued against the castle and its occupants.
1328 The value of the castle was put at £125.
1360 A Constable and porter were recorded as being at the castle.
1369 After: The castle passed through marriage to the Despenser family, the Beauchamp family and the Neville family.
14 C The castle and town were abandoned.
1400’s The town and castle were refortified when there was a threat of an uprising by Owain Glyndwr.
1403 Henry IV had the castle refortified during the Owain Glyndwr uprising.
1415 The value of the castle was £40
1452 The last time the castle was mentioned.
1460 Henry Griffiths was Steward and Richard Cecile was Master Forester of the lands.
1972 Field Investigation.
1984 Owned by English Heritage.
1984 Geophysical survey.
1994 Watching Brief.
2003 Field Investigation.