Pont-Hendre castle mound
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1001763
Date first listed: 26-Nov-1928
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 32593 28110
Motte and bailey castle 170m south of Upper Pont-hendre.
Reasons for Designation
Motte and bailey castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte and bailey castles generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.
The motte and bailey castle 170m south of Upper Pont-hendre survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, social, political and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a motte and bailey castle situated on the spur of an east facing ridge on the south bank of the Olchon Brook close to its confluence with the River Monnow. The motte survives as a circular mound measuring up to 44m in diameter and 10.5m high surrounded by a ditch of between 6m to 12m wide and from 0.5m up to 3m deep with a crescent shaped bailey to the north east defined by a scarp up to 4m high above the river and elsewhere by a rampart bank which is 12m wide and 3m high to the south east and 11m wide and 1m high to the north west.
A geophysical survey carried out on the bailey in 2002 revealed possible occupation evidence to the south and some drainage ditches. The castle is thought to have been built by Walter de Lacy (who died in 1085) but was superseded by the construction of Longtown Castle to the north in the 12th century.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: HE 19
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 105677, Herefordshire SMR 1038
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing