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 

Simons Castle, Churchstoke

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Symons; Simonds; Symondes; Symonds; Sneth; Snead; Sned; Snet

In the community of Churchstoke.
In the historic county of Montgomeryshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO28599332
Latitude 52.53300° Longitude -3.05430°

Simons Castle, Churchstoke has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


An embanked motte, 40m by c.50m, 4.5m high, with a summit, 22m by 30m, truncated to the SW by quarrying, separated from a bailey platform to the NE, 28m by 15m, by a ditch (Coflein)

Castle situated on rocky knoll. Rock scarped to form motte separated from bailey by ditch. Bailey area 28m to 15.0m. Bounded by natural slopes 5m-10m long 2.0m- 3.5m height. Poss Snead castle recorded 1231 and 1233. Surveyed 1985, topsoil removed from whole of bailey. Rock ditch shown to be natural feature separating two rock outcrops used as motte and bailey. Dumped clay used to shape bailey edge of ditch. Bailey bank formed of dumped clay (Arnold, C J & Huggett, J W, 1985, 43; Youngs, S M, Clark, J and Barry T 1986, 198). Excavation in 1986 demonstrated the leveling of the site with dumped clay. Metalled surface ran into bailey. Large quantities of medieval pottery and coins of C12th and C13th. (Huggett, J W & Arnold, C J, 1986, 56).

Traces of buildings noted in bailey as well as fence lines and footings for bridge. Rock in base of ditch left deliberately to support pier for bridge (Arnold, C J, & Huggett, J W, 1987, 62). Excavation of motte and bailey ditch in 1988. Layout of bailey with timber defences and gateway revealed. Post sockets for bridge across ditch located. Bailey seems to have acted as a bridgehead, only one building located in the bailey and appears temporary or shortlived (Arnold, C J., & Huggett, J W, 1988, 74). Excavations in 1992: burnt building a completed, no floor surfaces found, building interpreted as timber framed. At the northern end of the excavation the burnt remains of a timber building were located c.4 by 3m. Parts of the retaining wall of the rampart were identified. (Arnold, C & Huggett, J 1992). Excavation terminated in 1993 with all excavated surfaces having been reinstated. (Cadw 1998). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

It overlooks and completely controls the road (leading onto the Ceri Ridgeway). The castle would have been an ideal garrison point for controlling passage into and out of the local area. A stone curtain wall was added to the earlier motte (1.8m thick), and enclosed a court 21m across. King writes "This castle is commonly identified with Sneth, but the name may belong to Hyssington"
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
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 the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, the four welsh archaeological trusts and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain Designated Historic Asset Descriptive Information from The Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), 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.
Lidar coverage in the UK is not complete. The button above will give an idea of the area of coverage. Higher resolution lidar images in both DSM and DTM form may be available from Lle A geo-Portal for Wales (click the preview tag to bring up a map and then select format byclicking on the small blue diamond in the top right corner of the map.)
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 28/06/2017 18:13:03