Bishops Moat

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBishops Moat
Alternative NamesCastell Hithoet; Castlewright; Castel Wrygh; Castell Vrych; Castle Wrighe; Castell Wrich; Castel Wrigge; Castell Ruht; Castell Rhudd
Historic CountryMontgomeryshire
Modern AuthorityPowys
1974 AuthorityPowys

Bishop's Moat is a ditched motte, 37m in diameter and 5.5m high, with a summit 12m in diameter, indented into a bean-shaped bailey, c.78.5m by 54m, defined by a bank, or scarps, with indications of a ditch. (Coflein)

Oval shaped enclosure. motte base diameter 37.0m. height 5.5m. summit diameter 12m. ditch 10.0m width 3.0m depth. bank enclosing bailey approx 12m width. 1.7m high. orig entrance E. Surrounding ditch is best preserved on SW and NE where it is 8m wide and 1m deep (Cadw, 1988). Butting on to the bailey bank on the N side is a small circular banked feature 10m diameter E-W and 8m N-S overall. The bank is a maximum of 0.5m high and 1.7m wide. Centrally is a low mound, 1.7m diameter maximum. The function and date of this feature is unknown (Cadw, 2000). (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Stands at a height of 340m overlooking the Powys/Shropshire border. Bishop's Moat is a 6m high motte, 13m across it's top; the motte stands on the west side of a 100m x 65m bailey. The site was founded by the Bishop of Hereford around 1120, and may have been captured by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth in 1233. (Daniel Mersey – this is a reference to Castell Hitheot, actually an unidentified site – see King, Castellarium Anglicanum p. 559-560 for full discussion).

Gatehouse Comments

The castle was in Mainstone parish a parish partly in the hundred of Clun, county Salop, and partly in the hundred and county of Montgomery. The castle is in Wales and has been since boundaries were accurately recorded but because of the peculiar nature of the parish it has often being placed in England. However, at the time it was built, county bounders had a less rigid definition and this is definitely an 'English' (i.e. Norman) castle.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO291896
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Row17 and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 244 (listed)
  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 28-9 (who know it is in Wales)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Mid Wales (Malvern) p. 36
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), T_he Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire_ (Malvern) (mislocated in Shropshire)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge) (mislocated in Shropshire)
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 202, 214-5
  • Jackson, M. J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) (mislocated in Shropshire)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 295
  • Fisher, J. (ed), 1917 Tours in Wales (1804-1813) by Richard Fenton (Cambrian Archaeological Association) online copy
  • RCAHMW, 1911, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Montgomeryshire (HMSO) p. 20 no. 101 online copy


  • Spurgeon, C.J., 1966, ‘The castles of Montgomeryshire’ Montgomeryshire Collections Vol. 59 p. 29-30 online copy
  • 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