Lyde Castle

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameLyde Castle
Alternative NamesPipe and Lyde
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishPipe and Lyde

The earthworks of a deserted settlement site have been found at NGR SO 498440 in the parish of Pipe and Lyde, lying midway between Upper Lyde and Lyde Arundel. As the Domesday Book mentions four manors in Lyde, some of which were identified by several different names during the Medieval period, the identification of this particular settlement is uncertain. There several clerly-marked rectangular platforms and boundary banks visible. The site may also have been used as a source of building materials as there are some deep holes suggesting the robbing out of foundations of buildings (Skelton) A sketch plan of the alleged deserted medieval village earthworks made in 1979 together with documentary evidence of the 11th, 13th, and 14th centuries has led to the conclusion that this is a motte and bailey of the defended house type as at Eardisley The most prominent features on the site are (i) an irregular riased platform (the 'motte') surrounded by a ditch on three sides which is separated on the N. from (ii) a larger rectangular enclosure (the 'bailey') also defined by ditches which in turn overlookd (iii) a dried-out fishpond. To the W is (iv) a much larger raised area which terminates in a sunken road leading to the tail of the fishpond (Whitehead). (PastScape)

Enclosure castle & baileys, David Whitehead discovered this one. Looks like a low level wet defended castle site. Lots of loose stone & buried foundations on the site. Substantial pieces of dressed stone partially buried. This is another of those borderline sites. The number of enclosures points to it being a true castle with baileys, but the weakness of the earthworks & the fact that it was church property may mean that it was more like a comfortable manor looking castlelike but lightly defended, Prob bracket 1200-1300+ (Herefordshire SMR ref. Stirling Brown)

Gatehouse Comments

Mention of a castle in charter of 1225-50.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO497439
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 242-3
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 50
  • Stirling-Brown, R., 1989, Herefordshire Castles (privately published) p. 16
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 213 (possible)
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 35


  • Sterling Brown, R., 1988, 'Preliminary Results of Castle Survey' Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 50 p. 45
  • Whitehead, D., 1979, 'Pipe and Lyde, Herefordshire: an unrecorded castle' West Midlands Archaeological news sheet Vol. 22 p. 58-60
  • Whitehead, D., 1979, 'Pipe and Lyde, Herefordshire: an unrecorded castle (SO 497 439)' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 43.1 p. 40-3 (plan)
  • Skelton, R., 1976, 'Deserted Medieval Villages, 1976, Report of Sectional Recorder' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 42.1 p. 107