Urishay Castle, Peterchurch

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

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameUrishay Castle, Peterchurch
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishPeterchurch

Urishay Castle - house and earthworks. "A large mound with traces of an outer enclosure on the NE and N. The mound is about 52 yds in diameter at the base and is surrounded by a ditch. It is now occupied by the ruins of a 17th and 18th century house and the sides have been terraced and revetted with 17th century stonework. There is a stone causeway with a culvert crossing the ditch on the SE and remains of a bridge on the NE side. The mound rises about 20ft above the bottom of the ditch. The outer enclosure is represented by traces of terracing and remains of a rampart. Within it stands Urishay Chapel" (RCHME). The house, chapel and castle mound are unchanged but the bailey is no longer visible. To the east of the earthwork is a hollow way approaching the mound transversely up the steep slope. (Field Investigators Comments F1 MHB 21-SEP-71). A survey of the ruined chapel in 1979 confirmed a 12th century dating with partial rebuilding and refurbishing between the 13th and 20th centuries. (Shoesmith, 1979). Intensive archaeological survey of chapel undertaken 1979-83 by the City of Hereford Archaeology Committee funded by DOE (Ancient Monuments Branch) during structural consolidation of walling in danger of collapse. Original rectangular building now appears to be of late 11th or early 12th century date, with an apsidal east end. Ownership now with the Friends of Friendless Churches who have undertaken a partial restoration. A reassessment of Urishay Castle, a house previously dated to the 17th and 18th century (see RCHME) suggests an earlier date for parts of the surviving fabric. (See also SO 33 NW 41). (Shoesmith, 1987). The earthwork remains of the motte and part of the bailey enclosure described by the previous authorities were seen centred at SO 3230 3756 and mapped from aerial photographs. The remains of a trackway can be seen leading from the bailey eastwards

This is thought to be associated with the remains of the DMV of Urishay and are recorded separately in SO33NW 41. (PastScape)

The site would appear to be a fortified-site, however, having glimpsed the shape of the mound from a distance it is not possible to dismiss the idea that it may have been a motte. (Phillips 2005)

Gatehouse Comments

The presence of the relatively early chapel does suggest the site did start as a motte and Phillips may well be over cautious.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceSO323375
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

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  • Shoesmith, R., 1987, 'Urishay Chapel' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 45.3 p. 686-720
  • 1985, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 43 p. 14-15 (plan)
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  • 1967, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 2 p. 1
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 3 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 3 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 4 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 4 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 20, 25 online copy
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