Holme Lacy earthworks

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHolme Lacy earthworks
Alternative Namesmanerio de Hamme; Home Lacy
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishHolme Lacy

It has been suggested that the earthworks to the north of St. Cuthbert's Church represent those of 'a motte and bailey castle and later moated platform containing the manor house' (HAN, 70, 3). However, the church is said to occupy the site of an old abbey and it contains some ancient stalls. (Shoesmith)

The hollows in this area appear to be drainage ditches. The land is the flood plain of the River Wye, very flat, and it is doubtful whether a village could have existed here without a great risk of being constantly flooded. (PastScape 110332 undated comment but likely predating the HAN assesment.)

Gatehouse Comments

It should be noted that the risk of constant flooding did not prevent the construction of a church. People have and do live in areas were there is risk of occasional and even regular seasonal flooding particularly if the flooding provides rich agricultural land. The foundation charter for the abbey of Premonstratensian canons dates from the early years of Henry III although it does not seem the abbey was ever built. The church is recorded in Domesday. This would not exclude the existence of a manor house of any form since manors were the bases of grants to found such houses and this seems to have been a manor of Walter Lacy somehow come into the hands of William fitz Warin (and surplus to his needs). However the earthworks clearly are not significant enough to have caught the attention of earlier writers and surveys and this must make the site somewhat doubtful. That said this would be a typical location for a small motte and later manor and the location in the flood plain of the River Wye is an erosive one suggesting the earthwork were once rather more substantial.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO567347
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 162


  • 1999, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 70 p. 3 (plan)
  • Halliwell, P.R., 1997, 'Correspondence re Stirling-Brown' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 49.1

Primary Sources

  • Dugdale, William (Caley, J., Ellis, H. and Bandinel, B. (eds)), 1817-30 (originally pub. 1655-73), Monasticon Anglicanum (London) Vol. 6.2 p. 935-6 online copy