Kilpeck Castle

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

There are masonry footings remains

NameKilpeck Castle
Alternative NamesCilpedec; Chipcete
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishKilpeck

Motte and five baileys with strong counterscarp banks above combe to south, and flanking baileys to north-west and south-east and rectangular village enclosure of bank and ditch. Parts of a polygonal rubble shell-wall remain on the motte, with a round-headed fireplace and circular flue to the north, two drains to the east and an interior cross-wall. The shell may have been circular internally, it has a sloping external plinth. Trial excavations in 1982 revealed seven periods of occupation with pottery giving a date range from C12-C15. Excavation revealed evidence of both timber and stone buildings, and a metalled yard or trackway, overlying the tail of the rampart. (PastScape)

Kilpeck is 7-8 miles south-west of Hereford. The earthworks of the castle lie between the small ornate church of c. 1140 to the east and a hollow to the west. The graveyard of the nearby church is now beginning to encroach on the castle site. The earthworks consist of a motte with a base diameter of c. 50m, rising 8m to a summit 28m in diameter with a large kidney-shaped inner bailey to the east, between the castle and the settlement. The motte is completely surrounded by a ditch. The inner bailey has the remains of a rampart along its north and south sides. It was entered from the south-east where a gap in the rampart is flanked on one side by a small mound, perhaps once a small gatehouse. There are two outer baileys which survive on the south and west, surrounded by either ditches or scarps. The Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England (Inventory of the Historic Monuments of Herefordshire, Volume I: South-West, 1931, p. 158) noted a third outer bailey to the north when it surveyed the site, but this has since been destroyed. The outer bailey is roughly square and lies to the south. It has an outer ditch and the remains of a rampart on its north and south sides

The bailey is entered from the south-west, where there is a gap in the rampart surrounded by a small mound, which could cover the remains of a gatehouse. On the motte summit are two fragments of a shell keep wall about 2m thick and 5m high. The shell keep is thought to be polygonal in shape and perhaps large enough to have had a wall walk. This wall would have enclosed an area c.70m-80m in diameter. A deep well has also been discovered within. The remains of two round-backed fireplace flues, of the former internal lean-to buildings, are also visible within the wall fragments. On the west of the site a stream has been dammed by a continuation of the north bank of the western outer bailey; this was presumably intended to form a fishpond. (Herefordshire Through Time)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO444304
Latitude51.9701309204102
Longitude-2.81063008308411
Eastings344420
Northings230460
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Higham, Robert, 2015, Shell-keeps re-visited: the bailey on the motte? (Castle Studies Group - online publication) online copy
  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 174-88
  • Phillips, Neil, 2005, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (University of Wales) p. 213-15 Download from ADS
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 44 (plan)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 99
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 345, 356
  • Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 136-38
  • Stirling-Brown, R., 1989, Herefordshire Castles (privately published) p. 9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 207
  • Sawle, J., 1982, Excavations at Kilpeck Castle, 1982: an interim report (Hereford and Worcester County Council)
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 66
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 248
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 216
  • Pevsner, N., 1963, Buildings of England: Herefordshire p. 203
  • RCHME, 1931, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 1: south-west p. 158-9 No. 2 (plan) online transcription
  • Oman, Charles W.C., 1926, Castles (1978 edn Beetham House: New York) p. 148
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Herefordshire Vol. 1 p. 240 (plan)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 110-11 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 162-8 online copy
  • Robinson, C.J., 1869, The Castles of Herefordshire and Their Lords (London: Longman) p. 80-4 online copy

Antiquarian

  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 226, 228
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 185 online copy

Journals

  • 2006, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 54 p. 113-4
  • Creighton, O.H., 2004, ''The Rich Man in his Castle, The Poor Man at His Gate': Castle Baileys and Settlement Patterns in Norman England' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 21 p. 25-36
  • Impey, E., 1997, 'The buildings on the motte at Kilpeck Castle, Herefordshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 146 p. 101-8
  • Shoesmith, Ron, (ed), 1992, 'Excavations at Kilpeck, Herefordshire' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 47.2 p. 162-209
  • Halliwell, P.R. (ed), 1990, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 53 p. 14
  • Thomas, A., 1989, Medieval Settlement Research Group Annual Report Vol. 4 p. 40 (small excavation report) online copy
  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 314
  • Shoesmith, Ron, 1982, 'Archaeology, 1982, Report of Sectional Recorder' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 44.1 p. 121-3
  • Sawle, J., 1983, 'Kilpeck Castle, Hereford and Worcester' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 100–2
  • Youngs, S.M., Clark, J. and Barry, T.B., 1983, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1982' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 27 p. 180 download copy
  • 1982, Rescue News Vol. 27 p. 6
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Talbot, E.J., 1965, 'Kilpeck Castle' The Hundred-and-Twelfth Annual Meeting at Hereford, 1965, CAA 29
  • 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
  • Bannister, 1927, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 82 p. 464-6
  • Firmstone, E.R., 1913, 'The Origin of Kilpeck' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 131-5
  • 1887, 'Kilpeck Church, Castle and Priory, Third Field Meeting, July 29th, Ladies' Day' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 143-4 (plan)
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 205 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1873, 'Kilpeck Castle' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 28 p. 50-8

Guide Books

  • Guide to Kilpeck church and castle (Hereford) (a reprint from RCHME 1931)

Primary Sources

  • Hart, W.H.(ed), 1863, Historia et cartularium monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriae (Rolls Series 33) Vol. 1 p. 16
  • Pipe Rolls 1189 (see Pipe Roll Society for published references)
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 246

Other

  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 2 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 17 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 28 online copy
  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy
  • Dalwood, H., 1996, Archaeological Assessment of Kilpeck, Hereford and Worcester (Central Marches Historic Towns Survey, Herefordshire and Worcester County Council)