Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 40839 69220


WIGMORE CP SO 46 NW 6/41 Ruins of Wigmore Castle 11.6.59 I

Castle ruins. Probable mid-C11 origins built by William Fitzosborn, Earl of Hereford and held by Ralph de Mortimer at the time of the Domesday Book Survey (1086). Some of the masonry is C12 and C13 but the structure was otherwise rebuilt during the early C14, probably by Roger Mortimer. It was repaired during the mid- to late C16 by Sir Henry Sydney and used as a prison. In 1643 it is said to have been dismantled by the Harley family who had bought it in 1601. Sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. Present ruins consists of parts of the walls of a shell-keep on a mound to the north-west of the site, portions of the enclosing walls of the bailey to the south-east includ- ing three towers, a gatehouse and a single fragment of wall near the middle of the enclosure. Keep: roughly oval and entered from east side with a stretch of wall on the north side with a flat buttress and terminating in a second buttress. The upper part of this wall and the rest of the surviving walling of the keep is C14. There was also a south tower, of which the south wall remains with the embrasure of a single-light window, and a west tower, which must have been at least three storeys high and contained a spiral staircase. The main curtain wall carried up to the keep mound at the east end and the south side. North tower: C14. It retains its outward side and plinth and two of the faces have the remains of window embrasures. East tower: probably C13. Circular outward face with plinth survives with large window embrasure and grade-robe shaft. Gatehouse: C14. Only the central portion remains with a four-centred archway (half-choked with debris) of two orders;the outer moulded and the inner order chamfered, and between them is a portcullis groove. East of the archway is the remains of a small room with a west doorway, a right-angled passage and a rubble vault. The wall west of the archway has the remains of a window and door and adjoins a fairly well- preserved section of curtain wall. South tower: C14. Rectangular plan and of at least three storeys with a base- ment and a moulded plinth; the basement under the east half is approached by a square-headed doorway in the north-west angle down a flight of steps. The ground floor has four windows and a fireplace (the two south windows have cusped pointed heads) and there are four first floor windows. The curtain wall to the west is quite well preserved and adjoins the south-west tower: this was of similar date, plan and height to the south tower. The south wall has a plinth and second and third storey window. The adjoining curtain wall to the north has traces of a window, a chimney flue and an ogee-arched doorway. There are also the remains of a rectangular inner enclosure south-east of the keep mound. An engraving by Buck of 1732 shows little more of the building than presently survives. It was one of the largest castles built along the Welsh border and appears to have been a structure of the first importance. (RCHM, Vol III, p 205-8; BoE, p 321). County Monument number 5.

Listing NGR: SO4084569235


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Legacy System:


Books and journals
Inventory of Herefordshire III North West, (1934), 205-208
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, (1963), 321


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 30 Apr 2007
Reference: IOE01/16501/31
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Richard Summers. Source Historic England Archive
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