Longtown Castle
Longtown Castle Longtown Castle Longtown Castle Longtown Castle Longtown Castle Longtown Castle

Longtown Castle stands on the Welsh border at the base of the Black Mountains. It is a fairly standard motte-and-bailey earthwork, built by William de Lacy in the 1180's on the site of a square enclosure that may have been a Roman fort. In the early 13th century another Walter de lacy, Sheriff of Herefordshire, rebuilt the defences in stone. He built a curtain wall around the bailey, which he divided into two halves with a cross-wall, and he added a circular keep on the motte.

The best preserved part of the curtain walls is the cross-wall in which there are the remains of a gateway flanked by two half-round turrets. The circular keep, uncommon in England but relatively popular in Wales, was two-storeys high. It was built on a sloping plinth and was strengthened by three semi-circular buttresses. The buttress that contained the spiral staircase has collapsed leaving a gash in the side of the tower.

The castle was abandoned in the 14th century, although it was temporarily refortified in the early 15th century during the Owain Glyndwr rebellion.

In the village of Longtown, 10 miles north of Abergavenny, on minor roads off the A465
Longtown Castle, Longtown, Hereford, Herefordshire
English Heritage. Free, open access at any reasonable time
For further information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

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