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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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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.

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.

Description

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)

Probably predecessor to Longtown. A castle that appears to be sited for the strategic reason of controlling a river crossing. Phillips suggests the site may have had an earlier (? Saxon) origin.

An example of the different needs of a military camp and a castle. A military camp needs protection and a good water supply for the horses, particularly in the summer fighting season; mud is inconvenient. A castle is an all year round administrative centre where the dignity of a lord is often on display and carts of goods are loaded and unload; mud is disaster.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   Flashearth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
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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.
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This record last updated on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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