The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Clifford Old Castleton

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castellaria de Cliford

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO283456
Latitude 52.10517° Longitude -3.04758°

Clifford Old Castleton 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.


Medieval motte and bailey seen as earthworks. The motte is 40 metres in diameter. The bailey measures 60 metres east to west by 40 metres north to south and is bounded by a large rampart, 11 metres to 20 metres in width and 2 to 4 metres in height internally but rising to 3.5 metres to 4 metres above the base of an outer ditch, 10 metres in width and 1.8 to 3 metres in depth. The original entrance is through the south side. The castle may have been built between 1067 and 1070. Worcester-type cooking pot fragments have been recovered from the spoil of a badger sett on the site and date from 1100 at the earliest. (PastScape)

'The configuration of the site would suggest that a natural ridge above the River Wye was chosen as a suitable place for a defensive structure. It is also possible that the site was located from the river, because it is known to flood up to the bottom of the ridge... The first structure built was the ring-work possibly making a defended enclosure for a garrison in hostile country. It has been suggested that this site was chosen to guard the north entrance to the Golden Valley as a precursor to the more established stone castle at Clifford (Purser 1994. 73). This would obviously date the site to pre-1071 as part of fitz Osbern's control measures. At a later stage, possibly post 1100 but probably 1140-1180, the motte was added, possibly as a private fortress for the owner, possibly as a watch tower. It is possible that the site may have been a riverside castle; possibly a change in the river's course may have led to the decline of this site.' (Phillips)

Salter writes may have footings of curtain wall.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact