Monday, 26 January 2009
Richard's castle – First one in England (possibly)
Richard’s Castle is located in a small village on the Shropshire/Herefordshire border. From a distance this stronghold simple looks like a wooded hill but take a closer look because at close quarters there remain substantial earthworks of a Norman castle.
Built by Richard, son of Scrob, a Norman friend of Edward the Confessor in the early 1050’s this castle is typical motte and bailey construction, although one of only four of this type built before the Norman conquest. Thus possibly Richard’s Castle could be the first ‘castle’ in England.
In the 1960’s excavations revealed a 12th century octagonal tower, 50ft in diameter with walls 2ft thick. This survives to the height of the first floor although you’d be hard pressed to realise this when you’re standing on top of it.
Today the castle is mainly reduced to its earthworks and foundations. The bailey wall still stands twenty feet high in places and there are remains of several towers and an early gatehouse around the perimeter.