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Dilwyn Ringwork

In the civil parish of Dilwyn.
In the historic county of Herefordshire.
Modern Authority of Herefordshire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Herefordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO41565440
Latitude 52.18474° Longitude -2.85618°

Dilwyn Ringwork has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The earthwork remains of a Ringwork. The moat encloses a circular area about 165ft in diameter and rising slightly above the surrounding ground and with the remains of a rampart. (PastScape)

Though suggestive of castle site work appears rather to be of homestead moat class (VCH). Moat, partly wet, encloses nearly circular area c165' diameter rising slightly above surrounding ground with remains of rampart. Immed SE pond of irregular form (RCHME). Appears to be ringwork with reduced remains of encircling bank on N side of featureless interior. Ditch waterfilled on E and S, but N side filled in and only slight depression indicates position irregular pond does not appear to be contempory. Watching brief by J Sawle on trenches just outside area of ditch (JS. 1979. SMR file) Motte & bailey. Partly banked on uphill side. Large shell keep is indicated by buried foundations 5'-6' thick. Slightly off centre inside shell is large roughly rect block of buried masonry poss a stone keep. Most of upper bailey has been covered with houses apparently without any record being made of site. An old excav trench on motte, whose report found no stonework stopped only 18" from foundations. Site fo protected by a marsh, mere & fishponds on two thirds of circuit, now mostly drained (Sterling-Brown, 1988). The author was on site to examine the builder's excavations and foundation trenches throughout the development. Finds were retrieved from the site including probable 12th century pottery. After the development there remains the partial ringwork bank on a mound. Historical information is included in the account with reference to those that held the land from 1086. Comment and speculation on the present evidence includes the possibility that Dilwyn was one of the few stone square or rectangular keeps in Herefordshire. The tower might have been surrounded by a shell-wall built up behind the rampart. Indicating a very strong castle, although there is no conclusive proof of this. Discussion is also included of the possible destruction of the site when the fee holding moved from the castle some time after 1200 (HAN, 1993). Since the visit in 1993 houses have been built near the base of the motte, gardens have encroached onto the motte slopes and the tower keep platform is less clear due to soil build up. (Herefordshire SMR)

The suggestion that this was the site of a Norman square keep does not seem to have been taken up more generally. Herefordshire has limited access to lime and consequential had poor quality lime mortar so masonry buildings are not as well preserved as elsewhere in the country but even so a major tower might be expected to leave rather less ambiguous remains.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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