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Hereford Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Hogg's Mount

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO51143965
Latitude 52.05263° Longitude -2.71306°

Hereford Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


There are grounds for thinking that there was already a castle in Hereford in 1066. The post-Conquest castle consisted of a motte, now entirely destroyed, and a Kite-shaped bailey to the east, surrounded on three sides by a moat and on the fourth by the R Wye. Leland described the castle as having being one of the fairest, strongest and largest in England, the walls 'highe and stronge and full of great towres'. The bailey with its enclosing banks is now a recreation ground; the rampart on the north rises 21.5 ft above the water level of the castle-pool (part of the moat still filled with water) and beyond the moat to the east the ground outside is 29 ft below the top of the rampart. The ditch has been obliterated by a modern road on the east and there is only a low rampart on the south towards the river. On the west a slight scarp indicates the position of the ditch between the bailey and the former motte. The curtain wall and buildings within the castle were mainly 13th c although part of the wall is mentioned as being in need of repair in the L 12th c. It was much damaged in the Civil War, and what remained was mostly demolished in 1660. The house at the SW angle of the bailey was long used as the city Bridewell and has been largely reconstructed in modern times, but the north front retains a doorway of c. 1300. (PastScape ref. HKW and RCHME)

Hogg's Mount, a second mound on the NE corner of the castle, may have been the site of the pre-Conquest castle.

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 52, 62, 253, 343
      Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 144-62
      Whitehead, D., 2007, The Castle Green at Hereford: a landscape of ritual, royalty and recreation (Almeley: Logaston Press)
      Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 476
      Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 36-8 (plan)
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 98
      Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 43, 44, 172
      Stirling-Brown, R., 1989, Herefordshire Castles (privately published) p. 7
      Drage, C., 1987, 'Urban castles' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 117-32 online copy
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 206
      1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 56
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 242-3
      Shoesmith, Ron, 1980, Hereford City Excavations - Vol. 1: Excavations at Castle Green (CBA Research Report 36) online copy
      Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 204-5
      1969, Archaeological excavations 1968 (HMSO) p. 23
      Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 673-7
      RCHME, 1931, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 1: south-west p. 119, 126 No. 4
      Oman, Charles W.C., 1926, Castles (1978 edn Beetham House: New York) p. 148
      Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 161-2 online copy
      Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
      Chalkley Gould, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Herefordshire Vol. 1 p. 238-9 (plan)
      Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 107-9 online copy
      Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 108-19 online copy
      Robinson, C.J., 1869, The Castles of Herefordshire and Their Lords (London: Longman) p. 71-5 online copy
      Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 377 online copy
  • Periodical Articles
    • Shoesmith, Ron, 2007, 'Archaeology: Report of Sectional Recorder 2007' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 55 p. 138
      Boucher, A., 2005, 'Hereford, Castle Pool' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 48 p. 29-30
      Eisel, J.C., 2003, 'The post-Civil War history of the site of Hereford Castle' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 51 p. 11-36
      Shoesmith, R., 2002, 'Archaeology 2002, Report of Sectional Recorder' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 50.3 p. 387
      Shoesmith, R., 2000, 'Archaeology 2000, Report of Sectional Recorder' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 50.1 p. 95
      Shoesmith, R. and Crosskey, R., 1994, 'Go to Gaol... in Hereford' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 48.1 p. 97-139
      Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 313
      Youngs, S.M., Clark, J. and Barry, T.B., 1984, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1983' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 28 p. 186 download copy
      Shoesmith, Ron, 1976-8, 'Archaeology, 1976: City of Hereford Archaeology Committee' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 42 p. 97-100
      Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1977, 'Medieval Britain in 1976' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 21 p. 244 download copy
      Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1976, 'Medieval Britain in 1975' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 20 p. 189 download copy
      Shoesmith, Ron, 1973, CBA Group 12 Vol. 13 p. 49-50
      King, D.J.Cathcart, 1972, 'The Field Archaeology of mottes; Eine kurze übersicht' Château Gaillard Vol. 5 p. 101-112
      Leach, P J. ,1971, 'Hereford Castle Excavations 1968-69' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 40.2 p. 211-24
      1970, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 14 p. 176 download copy
      1969, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 13 p. 258 online copy
      Shoesmith, Ron, 1969, 'Reports on Sectional Recorders Archaeology' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 476
      Shoesmith, Ron (ed), 1969, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 15 p. 4
      Shoesmith, Ron (ed), 1969, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 13 p. 9
      Davidson, Brian K., 1969, 'Early earthwork castles: a new model' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 37-47
      Brown, R. Allen, 1969, 'The Norman Conquest and the Genesis of English Castles' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 1-14
      Shoesmith, Ron (ed), 1968, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 11, 3
      Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
      Noble, F., 1964, 'Medieval boroughs of West Herefordshire' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club
      Renn, D.F., 1964, 'The first Norman Castles in England 1051-1071' Château Gaillard Vol. 1 p. 125-132
      Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124
      Heys, F.G., 1960, 'Castle Green, Excavations at, 1960' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 36.3 p. 343-57, 387-92
      Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
      Brown, R. Allen, 1955, 'Royal Castle-building in England 1154-1216' English Historical Review Vol. 70 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)) p. 19-64
      1954, 'Harley, Major J R H, Copies of documents belonging to: (i) Hereford Castle' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 291-3
      Watkins, A., 1933, 'Foundations of Buildings in Hereford Castle' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 36-41
      Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 204-5 online copy
      Lloyd, James W., 1884, 'Hereford Castle and Appurtenances in the Seventeenth Century' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 161-4 (surveys etc)
  • Guidebooks
    • Shoesmith, R., 1980, A short history of Castle Green and Hereford Castle (Hereford)
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • Ingram, James, (ed) 1912, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Everyman Press, London) AD1067 view online transcription (Ingram's translation and notes date from 1823. More recent translations of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles should be consulted for serious study)
      Sewell, R.C. (ed), 1846, Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum p. 61 online copy (The newer edition and translation by Potter, K.R. (ed), 1976 (2edn), Gesta Stephani (Oxford University Press) should be consulted for serious study. See also Speight, S., 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani' , Château Gaillard Vol. 19 see online transcription)
      Arnold, T. (ed), 1879, Henrici Archidiaconi Huntendunesis Historia Anglorum (London: Rolls Series 74) p. 261 online copy
      le Prevost, A. (ed), 1855, Ordericus Vitalis, Historica Ecclesiastica Vol. 5 p. 112 online copy
      Thorpe, B. (ed), 1849, Florentii Wigorniensis monachi. Chronicon ex Chronicis (London) Vol. 2 p. p. 106 (1138) online copy
      Hog, T. (ed), 1845, F. Nicholai Triveti de ordine frat. praedicatorum Annales sex regum Angliae, qui a comitibus andegavensibus originem traxerunt (English Historical Society) p. 254 online copy
      Luard, H.R. (ed), 1890, Flores Historiarum, per Mathaeum Westmo santeriensem collecti (Rolls Series 95) Vol. 2 p. 498 (1264)
      1887, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the eleventh year of the reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1164-1165 (Pipe Roll Society Publications 8)
      1890, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the fifteenth year of the reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1168-1169 (Pipe Roll Society Publications 13) p. 140 online copy
      1910, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King Henry II A.D. 1181-1182 (Pipe Rolls Society 31) p. 12 online copy
      Stenton, D.M. (ed.), 1938, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the fifth year of the reign of King John, Michaelmas 1203 (Pipe roll 49) (Pipe Roll Society Publications 54)
      Stubbs, W. (ed), 1880, The Minor Works comprising the Gesta regum with its continuation, the Actus pontificum, and the Mappa mundi, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury (London: Longman Rolls series 73) Vol. 2 p. 436 online copy
      Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 243-4
      C145/9(10) (Survey of 1254) The National Archives reference (calendared in Maxwell Lyte, H.C., 1916, Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), preserved in the Public Record Office (H.M.S.O.) Vol. 1 No. 205)
      E101/547/10 (Survey of Edward I) The National Archives reference
      E317 Heref/10 (Survey of Commonwealth) The National Archives reference
  • Antiquarian (Histories and accounts from late medieval and early modern writers)
    • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
      Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 215, 218, 225
      Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1908, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 64-5 online copy
      Celia Fiennes, 1888, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press) Vision of Britain online transcription
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Fradley, Michael, 2011, The Old in the New: Urban Castle Imposition in Anglo-Norman England, AD1050-1150 (University of Exeter PhD Thesis) available via EThOS
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This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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