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Weobley Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Wibelay; Weobly

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO40365135
Latitude 52.15718° Longitude -2.87320°

Weobley 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.

Description

The much mutilated remains of a ringwork and large bailey at Weobley once had stone defences which have now vanished. Mentioned in 1138(a). "The round towers shown on the early plan (b) seem to indicate that the former masonry castle was of the 13th century...." (RCHME). "The castle... bears no relation to the Norman defence line of the Welsh march and may have been adulterine, as it is first mentioned in the reign of Stephen, by whom it was taken in 1140. In 1210, it was occupied by William de Braose, Lord of Brecon, Huntingdon and the Gower. The earthworks, which have been much damaged, consist of a main work to the S. with a bailey to the N of it. The alleged motte, now consists only of a grass-covered crescent. If it was an earth mound, the centre has been quarried away and it is difficult to see why: its profile suggests stonework. The profile of the bailey defences also looks too sharp for a simple earthwork. With regard to the Castle's date and legitimacy, the plan of the village and the general lie of the land suggest a rectangular village enclosure appended to the castle, as at Kilpeck. The present church is 13th - 14th century and although it is alleged to embody some "traces of 12th century masonry", there may have been an earlier church inside the rectangle. The central mound at Weobley Castle is so mutilated that it is difficult to say whether it is a reduced motte or a ring-work. There is now no evidence of any masonry either here or elsewhere. The bailey banks and external moat are large and sharply defined. Beyond the bailey to the west, alongside the present line of the stream, are earthworks and channels which point to the existence of a water-mill at SO 40295136; in connection with which a pond-boy crosses the valley bottom to the SW of the castle. The chief lordship of the Devereux family, it was probably founded in the late 11th century. A plan of the castle by Silas Taylor in 1655 shows a rectangular keep with rounde corner towers. The walls were 12 feet thick and it stood on a mound to the south of the site. (Shoesmith). Under royal control 1210-13. (Brown). (PastScape)

Probably late C11 origin, all stonework now vanished. C17 plan shows rectangular keep. Described as 'a goodly castell but somewhat in decay' by Leland in 1538.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
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This record last updated on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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