"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 26 November 2021

Return to Herefordshire - Part 1: Richard's Castle


E was on holiday last week and wanted to go to Herefordshire for a few days.

Timothy looking forward to returning but very disgruntled that I had left him in a t-shirt when really he needed a cosy jumper!

Rubbish photo but the pheasants are back at the caravan site.

Definite signs of autumn colour now on the tree I am watching.

Tuesday afternoon after arriving we did the usual Morrisons click and collect in Leominster.,  We were lucky with the weather it was dry with some sunshine and it wasn't quite as cold as when D and I visited.

Wednesday B and E, having seen the photos D and I took of Wigmore Castle, decided they wanted to visit. Unfortunately we got fairly close to Wigmore but at Mortimer's Cross the main road was closed due to an accident. No diversion marked and all the sat nav wanted to do was keep sending us back to the closed main road. OS map was back at the caravan πŸ˜’and I recently threw away the old atlas kept in the car as it was falling to bits and have failed to replace it - bad move!!!  Trying to cut across country B spotted a sign saying Richard's Castle 4 miles which E hadn't visited so to cut a long story short we decided to go there instead.

Flowering ivy - great at this time of year for any late flying insects.

View from the tiny car park near the church and castle.

To reach the motte and bailey castle you pass the church of St Bartholomew which is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The church was probably founded by Richard FitzScrob, who also built the first castle, or his son Osbern, for the use of the settlement that had begun to grow up around the castle.  The nave and chancel were built in the 12th century, the church enlarged in the 14th century and south porch added in the 15th century. In the early 14th century the south aisle and arcade were built plus the North Chapel and the detached tower (one of 7 detached church towers in Herefordshire).

The church was restored in the 19th century and 1935.

I didn't go inside the church this time but if you would like to see the interior please see St Bartholomews Richards Castle

I don't think I remember seeing this Millennium Map on our last visit.

Holly berries in the churchyard.

Richard's Castle, four miles south of Ludlow, is probably the oldest castle in England and comprises a motte with the ruins of an octagonal tower keep protected by a bailey which was surrounded in stone and contained D-shaped and rectangular towers - one of which was an early gatehouse.  Richard Fitzscrob built the castle around 1050 and sited the keep on the hillside. In 1086 the castle was held by his son Osbern. The castle came into the hands of the Mortimers from 1211 to 1304.

Remains of the gatehouse.

You can still see the defensive ditch.

Remains of the stone curtain wall which surrounded the keep. It was built in the 13th century to replace the original wooden pallisade.  The square holes you can see were probably post holes used to support the scaffolding when the wall was originally built.

Remains of the keep with B and E at the top. I didn't venture up as I feared I might never get down again. I am afraid my knees these days are kn*ckered!

More remains of the curtain wall.

On our last visit I assumed this was a well but looking at the map of the site above it appears it is the remains of a medieval garderobe.

Back in the churchyard.

Back at the caravan that evening, a nearly full moon rising over a nearby copse.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.


Rustic Pumpkin said...

I would keep you company at the bottom. With care and time I might make it up, but not back down. Of course, there's always sliding. Poor Timothy, it's definitely time for his jumper!

Ragged Robin said...

RusticPumpkin - Thanks so much. Yes with time I could have got up but not down. Not all steps but a muddy steep slope for some yards near the bottom. I would have slid down it as you suggest. Putting Timothy's jumper on now!!!!!! He is eyeing up Benedict's habit!!!! :)

Rosie said...

After my fall in February this year I'm very wary of steps and slopes and getting down them is worse than going up. I remember staying in a Travelodge somewhere close to Richard's Castle but we were moving on with a longer journey ahead so didnt stop to explore, it looks so interesting. Yes, Timothy does need his jumper and scarf now we have cold winds and snow:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much. I hope you have fully recovered from your fall - horrible side effect I find of getting older and as you say coming down worse than going up!! The borders are a very interesting part of Herefordshire especially all those motte and baileys! Timothy agrees! We had snow here yesterday too and today is sunny but very cold and frosty!

Bovey Belle said...

We always see the sign for Richard's Castle - must stop and investigate sometime. I struggle up steep banks because of my asthma, but am still able to force myself to the top. Tall towers are another matter!

Thank you for another interesting post.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much. In Richard's Castle village (next to pub) I think there is a sign saying Historic Church and just keep going up and up the hill in car and on left by some houses there is a few car spaces on a little green. Walk to church (CCT and usually open) past church left through churchyard and then up a small slope to gate and bench at top - entrance to motte and bailey. I struggle due to asthma up steep hills too - have to keep stopping!

Pam said...

I bet the tree will be a little barer and possibly snow covered by now! Richards Castle isn't a bad place to detour to is it, although I think i'd have struggle with that hill and my knees work fine (not so much the rest of me lol)!

The Quacks of Life said...

that's a great post! Sorry if asked before but do you have Pevsner for Herefordshire?

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much and yes I am sure you are right! Need to try and get to caravan and perhaps close it down completely for winter as its gone so cold! We did drain the water completely though before we left. The last bit was very steep and muddy and I would just have ended up slithering down on my backside!!

The Quacks of Life - Thanks so much Pete. Have you been to the church?? Yes I have the new edition for Herefordshire - I bought it reduced on Amazon just after we bought the caravan! Also have the new edition of Warwickshire (expensive!!!!). Shropshire and Worcestershire I have the older edition (far more concise ie not as much detail) bought second hand. Would like the new editions but OH would have a hissy fit!!!!

CherryPie said...

Fabulous photos. We will visting near to here soon

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you and enjoy your visit :)

Millymollymandy said...

Another castle, so close to the other one! Great that you discovered somewhere new to go instead of having to revisit (already forgotten its name) ? Castle from a few posts back. πŸ˜‚

I’m enjoying the autumnal photos as well. We turned from peak loveliness to bleak winter in about two weeks, it seems!

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much. We had visited Richard's Castle with my son last year and knew it was interesting :) Weather horrid here too recently. Snow, rain, cold and windy on different days!