Mynyddbrydd Tump 1, Dorstone

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry footings remains

NameMynyddbrydd Tump 1, Dorstone
Alternative NamesMynydd-brith; Ruuenore; Fagemeneda; Fowmynd; Vowmynd; Vowmine
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishDorstone

Earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle, situated on a steep north east facing slope above the Pont-y-Weston Brook, some 3km west of Dorstone village. The castle is associated with the earthwork and buried remains of a number of hollow ways, building platforms, and an area of medieval cultivation remains, which are protected in a second area to the east. The castle remains include an earthen motte mound, oval in plan and measuring roughly 31m east to west and 28m north to south at the base. It has steep sides which rise 5m on the east side and 2.5m on the west, to a flat summit up to 18m in diameter. A low stone wall runs part way round the rim of the mound; although largely of modern construction this wall is believed to directly overlie the remains of earlier structures. A path cut into the north side of the motte probably represents an original access to the summit. The outer edge of the path is revetted by a stone wall, the lower courses of which survive above ground although its full extent is obscured by vegetation. The remains of a surrounding ditch, from which material for the mound's construction would have been quarried, survive as a shallow depression up to 8m wide to the south of the motte, becoming less well defined in the eastern and western quarters. To the north west the ditch is replaced by a gently sloping area which continues round to the north, and to the east it has been truncated by the construction of Mynydd Brith House and gardens. The ditch has a south westward extention in the form of a hollow which widens as it meets the southern boundary of the site, just to the west of the current gated access from the lane. This is probably the remains of a hollow way, which provided access to the motte from the lane

In the field on the opposite side of the lane, in the second area to the south east of the motte, are the earthwork and buried remains of a number of hollow ways, which have worn up to 1.5m into the high ground in the west corner of the field. These narrow, curved lanes are not wide enough for wheeled transport, but were created by pack animals negotiating the rather steep slope in this area. However, a wider cart track descends the slope further south, continuing east then north east around the base of the north facing slope. To the west these tracks have been truncated by the construction of the adjacent farm. One of the hollow ways runs north east, roughly at right angles to the cart track, and leads to the buried remains of three buildings terraced into the slope against its north west side. Upslope are the foundations of two stone structures which measure roughly 6m north west-south east by 4m transversely. Downslope of these is the platform of a larger timber building 9m by 9m. To the south east of the hollow way, and bounded on the south and east by the cart track, is a small enclosure of linear earthworks, aligned roughly east-west. These are the remains of small-scale ridged cultivation, perhaps an orchard, which would have contributed to the economy of the settlement associated with the castle. In the north west corner of this 'close' are the buried cill-beam foundations of a post-medieval building, which appears on the 1974 Ordnance Survey map but has since been demolished. The timber posts of a now vanished gate near the north end of the hollow way suggest this track continued in use during the post-medieval development of Mynyddbrydd Farm. A settlement at Mynydd-Brith is mentioned in Domesday, and the castle was probably built by William fitz Osbern or one of his followers, in the 11th century. In its strategic position overlooking the Pont-y-Weston Brook and the Dore Valley, it is one of a number of medieval defensive monuments in the area. (Scheduling Report)

the site probably functioned as a frontier outpost and is therefore early. The small nature of the site would have restricted its use to a small garrison and there is evidence of private internal fortification for the motte. The masonry structure on top is not convincing and is best disregarded but in its excavation or construction an unknown amount of earth from the top of the motte would have been moved. It is therefore possible that the motte may have been higher. (Phillips 2005)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO280414
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  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Herefordshire Vol. 1 p. 236 (plan)


  • 1994, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 62 p. 5
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