Ponthendre, Longtown

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NamePonthendre, Longtown
Alternative NamesEwyas Lacy; Pont-hendre; Pont Hendre; Castelli de Ewais
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishLongtown

The earthwork remains of a Motte and Bailey presumed to be Medieval in date and mapped from aerial photographs. The tree covered motte is 10.5 metres in height and 44 metres in diameter. The enclosing ditch is 6 metres to 12 metres in width and 0.5 to 3 metres in depth, south east to north west. The scarp around the bailey is 3 metres to 4 metres in height and the rampart, 12 metres wide, 3 metres high on the south east side, 11 metres wide and 1 metres high on the north west side. A geophysical survey of the site revealed no anomalies in the bailey area apart from drainage channels, although there may have been occupation evidence to the south. It has been suggested that the castle was built by Walter de Lacy who died in 1085, and that the castle was replaced by Longtown Castle to the north in the twelfth century. (PastScape)

The proximity of Pont Hendre and Longtown could result from abandonment of the former due to the wet nature of the bailey which appears to have forced the habitation quarters outside the protection of the ramparts. The bogginess of the bailey is caused by a spring which issues from the bedrock located in the cut of the ditch to the north. Although the spring provides water to keep the ditch wet it has effectively removed the bailey area from being of any practical use. (Phillips 2005)

Gatehouse Comments

Probably predecessor to Longtown. A castle that appears to be sited for the strategic reason of controlling a river crossing. Phillips suggests the site may have had an earlier (? Saxon) origin. An example of the different needs of a military camp and a castle. A military camp needs protection and a good water supply for the horses, particularly in the summer fighting season; mud is inconvenient. A castle is an all year round administrative centre where the dignity of a lord is often on display and carts of goods are loaded and unload; mud is disaster.

- 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 ReferenceSO325281
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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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  • Shoesmith, Ron, 1996, Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 206-7
  • Prior, Stuart, 2006, A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Tempus) p. 110-164
  • Phillips, Neil, 2005, Earthwork Castles of Gwent and Ergyng AD 1050-1250 (University of Wales) p. 300-2 Download from ADS
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 48
  • Remfry, Paul M., 1997, Longtown Castle, 1048 to 1241 (SCS Publishing: Worcestershire)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 103 (slight)
  • Stirling-Brown, R., 1989, Herefordshire Castles (privately published) p. 13
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1) p. 208
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 49
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 231
  • Pevsner, N., 1963, Buildings of England: Herefordshire (Harmondsworth)
  • RCHME, 1931, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 1: south-west p. xxxiv, 184 No. 4 (plan) online transcription
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Herefordshire Vol. 1 p. 242-3 (plan)


  • Bradley, J. and Gaimster, M., 2003, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 2002' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 47 p. 251-68 download copy
  • Halliwell, P., 1997, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 67 p. 9
  • 1995, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 64 p. 43, 46-8 (plan)
  • Purser, T.S., 1994, 'Castles of Herefordshire, 1066-1135' Medieval History Vol. 4 p. 76
  • 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
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as precursor to Longtown)
  • Marshall, G., 1938, 'The Norman Occupation of the Lands in the Golden Valley. Ewyas, and Clifford, and their Motte and Bailey Castles' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 148

Primary Sources

  • 1925, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the thirty-fourth year of the reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1187-1188 (Pipe Roll Society Publications 38)


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