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Ponthendre, Longtown

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ewyas Lacy; Pont-hendre; Pont Hendre; Castelli de Ewais

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO32562812
Latitude 51.94757° Longitude -2.98231°

Ponthendre, Longtown has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The earthwork remains of a Motte and Bailey presumed to be Medieval in date and mapped from aerial photographs. The tree covered motte is 10.5 metres in height and 44 metres in diameter. The enclosing ditch is 6 metres to 12 metres in width and 0.5 to 3 metres in depth, south east to north west. The scarp around the bailey is 3 metres to 4 metres in height and the rampart, 12 metres wide, 3 metres high on the south east side, 11 metres wide and 1 metres high on the north west side. A geophysical survey of the site revealed no anomalies in the bailey area apart from drainage channels, although there may have been occupation evidence to the south. It has been suggested that the castle was built by Walter de Lacy who died in 1085, and that the castle was replaced by Longtown Castle to the north in the twelfth century. (PastScape)

The proximity of Pont Hendre and Longtown could result from abandonment of the former due to the wet nature of the bailey which appears to have forced the habitation quarters outside the protection of the ramparts. The bogginess of the bailey is caused by a spring which issues from the bedrock located in the cut of the ditch to the north. Although the spring provides water to keep the ditch wet it has effectively removed the bailey area from being of any practical use. (Phillips 2005)

Although Ponthendre and Longtown are now in the same parish this was not the case before the C19 and Ponthendre was in Clodock parish. I'm informed in the medieval period Longtown was in the parish of Clodock but with a chapel of ease at Longtown. However there do seem to have been two separate medieval manors. It seems, the two medieval manors of Longtown and Clodock were held by the de Lacy's as overlords but actual knightly tenants may have been different and it may be that the Ponthendre motte was deliberately built on the edge of the Clodock manor in sight of Longtown as a political statement by a De Lacy sub-tenant.
Recent investigation suggest the Ponthendre site was not finished (No evidence was found of palisades) and one might envisage the De Lacy overlord stepping in to control his tenants
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
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Air Photos > 
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 16/08/2017 18:59:32

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