Wigmore Town Defences

Has been described as a Questionable Urban Defence

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameWigmore Town Defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishWigmore

Linear ditch and bank aligned SW to NE followed by former field boundary. Bank on NW side when surveyed in 1930s, now ploughed out and survives as cropmark only. Interpreted as Town defences. Associated with documentary references from C14 survey of Wigmore Lordship which mention two long ditches "below the castle" worth 12 pence per year, actual function uncertain. Also interpreted as defences of an outer bailey of the castle, with parallel ditch and bank. (Herefordshire SMR)

Two parallel linear banks (HWCM 19424 and HWCM 19425) northeast of the castle were recorded by the Ordnance Survey in 1886 and by RCHME (1934). These have been interpreted as a village enclosure (Renn 1973, 345-7; HWCM 7258), but their location on a steep hillside shows that this interpretation is unlikely; it is more likely that settlement was focused on the church, dated to the late 11th century. (Dalwood and Bryant)

Gatehouse Comments

Map reference for parish church.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO412690
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  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 266
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 215
  • Atkin, C.W., 1954, 'Herefordshire' in H.C. Darby and I.B. Terrett, The Domesday Geography of Medieval England p. 104


  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Bond J., 2001, 'Earthen Castles, Outer Enclosures and the Earthworks at Ascott d'Oilly Castle, Oxfordshire' Oxoniensia Vol. 46 p. 65-6 (Appendix: Norman earthwork castles with failed towns in outer enclosures) online copy
  • Redhead, N., 1990, 'Wigmore Castle - a resistivity survey of the outer bailey' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 46.3 p. 423-431


  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy