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Description: Ruins of Wigmore Castle
Date Listed: 11 June 1959
English Heritage Building ID: 150220
OS Grid Reference: SO4083969220
OS Grid Coordinates: 340839, 269220
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3179, -2.8693
There is also a scheduled monument with a similar name, Wigmore Castle, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This is probably the same structure or related to it in some way.
SO 46 NW
6/41 Ruins of Wigmore Castle
Castle ruins. Probable mid-C11 origins built by William Fitzosborn, Earl
of Hereford and held by Ralph de Mortimer at the time of the Domesday Book
Survey (1086). Some of the masonry is C12 and C13 but the structure was
otherwise rebuilt during the early C14, probably by Roger Mortimer. It was
repaired during the mid- to late C16 by Sir Henry Sydney and used as a prison.
In 1643 it is said to have been dismantled by the Harley family who had bought
it in 1601. Sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. Present ruins consists
of parts of the walls of a shell-keep on a mound to the north-west of the
site, portions of the enclosing walls of the bailey to the south-east includ-
ing three towers, a gatehouse and a single fragment of wall near the middle
of the enclosure. Keep: roughly oval and entered from east side with a stretch
of wall on the north side with a flat buttress and terminating in a second
buttress. The upper part of this wall and the rest of the surviving walling
of the keep is C14. There was also a south tower, of which the south wall
remains with the embrasure of a single-light window, and a west tower, which
must have been at least three storeys high and contained a spiral staircase.
The main curtain wall carried up to the keep mound at the east end and the
south side. North tower: C14. It retains its outward side and plinth and two
of the faces have the remains of window embrasures. East tower: probably C13.
Circular outward face with plinth survives with large window embrasure and
grade-robe shaft. Gatehouse: C14. Only the central portion remains with a
four-centred archway (half-choked with debris) of two orders;the outer moulded
and the inner order chamfered, and between them is a portcullis groove. East
of the archway is the remains of a small room with a west doorway, a right-angled
passage and a rubble vault. The wall west of the archway has the remains of a
window and door and adjoins a fairly well- preserved section of curtain wall.
South tower: C14. Rectangular plan and of at least three storeys with a base-
ment and a moulded plinth; the basement under the east half is approached by
a square-headed doorway in the north-west angle down a flight of steps. The
ground floor has four windows and a fireplace (the two south windows have
cusped pointed heads) and there are four first floor windows. The curtain
wall to the west is quite well preserved and adjoins the south-west tower:
this was of similar date, plan and height to the south tower. The south wall
has a plinth and second and third storey window. The adjoining curtain wall
to the north has traces of a window, a chimney flue and an ogee-arched doorway.
There are also the remains of a rectangular inner enclosure south-east of the
keep mound. An engraving by Buck of 1732 shows little more of the building
than presently survives. It was one of the largest castles built along the
Welsh border and appears to have been a structure of the first importance.
(RCHM, Vol III, p 205-8; BoE, p 321). County Monument number 5.
Listing NGR: SO4084569235
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.