Friday, May 10, 2013

Longtown Castle, Herefordshire - Anglophile Friday

 Longtown Castle

'Marches': The border area between England and Wales.


"The English border counties are full of some of the finest motte and bailey castles still in existence in Britain. The castles were the property of Norman lords who built the strongholds in an effort to maintain control over the unruly Welsh*. One of these is Longtown Castle, a fascinating Marcher castle. Even though this motte and bailey fortification sits about 6 miles to the north-west of the very Welsh border castle at Grosmont, it is actually located in England. This juxtaposition of Welsh and English castles shows just how mixed up the Welsh Marches have been since the Norman Conquest. Town names and dialects also reflect the transitional nature of the Marches."

*No relation to Eileen or Samantha, my good blogging friends, I am sure.

Above: The route we took from Hereford, where we met our guide who accompanied (and directed us) along the route from Hereford Cathedral to Hay-on-Wye. You'll notice that half way between the A438 (green) and the narrow country road between Ewyas Harold and Hay-on-Wye (red) lies the Golden Valley.  Longtown is circled in red. 

From Ewyas Harold to Hay-on-Wye, we were not an an A or B road, and at times were on more of a path that I would never have let Kevin wander off onto if we had been alone. It was wonderful that we had someone, a knowledgeable native of the area, who was willing to show us where to go and how to get there!

Again, from

"Nestled close to the foreboding Black Mountains, along the backroads of Herefordshire, Longtown Castle has survived the centuries with dignity. However, your initial view of the castle may be confusing, as well as intriguing. The minor road into the tiny medieval town actually cuts through the outer baileys of the site, a surprising effect when you realize you have just driven through the castle grounds! Slightly camouflaged behind a line of trees, the motte suddenly springs into view, looming high above your head. It is an exhilarating but equally threatening vision, one that certainly must have intimidated anyone contemplating an assault in the Middle Ages.

"Longtown Castle was built in the 1180's by the Norman lord, Walter de Lacy, inside a rectangular earthen enclosure that may date to the Roman occupation of Britain. Fortified during the 12th century, the rectangular enclosure was bisected by another earthen wall, forming the two outer baileys of the castle which sat side-by-side to the south of the motte. In addition, a twin-towered gatehouse, protected with a portcullis, was added to the new outer curtain which enclosed the rectangular area. The gatehouse still exists, though extensively ruined." 

If you check that map again, you'll see that between Longtown and Hay-on-Way is Craswall, where we ate Sunday dinner - at the Bull's Head. Fantastic!

Let's meet there for Sunday dinner!

The Golden Valley
(with sheep)

 As cute as they can be!
Their bleat has a definite Welsh inflection.


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Have a great weekend, everyone!


 This post may be linked to some of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and Get in My Tummy and  Cure for the Common Monday and  Clever Chicks Blog Hop and  Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and    Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Creative Showcase and Memories by the Mile and  Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday and  Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday  and Love Bakes Good Cakes  and Overflowing With Creativity and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and Wildcrafting Wednesday and   Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and Creative Things Thursday and Be Inspired and Time Travel Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday  and  Friday Fences and  Thursday's Inspiration and  The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and Creative Things Thursday and   Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and Freedom Fridays and  Anything Blue Friday and Junkin' Joe and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and  A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and Sunlit Sunday and  Market Yourself Monday and  Saturday Nite Special


Samantha said...

I resent that! I'm very unruly!

I'm also English...the Welsh have adopted me as their own though and I'm considered Wenglish now :)

Amy Burzese said...

Wonderful! Love those sheep. How fortunate you are to have seen these sights.

Jenn said...

Love that first picture.. great shot of the castle! I love coming here on Friday's ... always feels like I could have actually been with you in England!! :)

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Loved visiting a piece of England!!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh I sure hope I can see England someday. It is so very charming.

Eileen said...

Hahaha I'm with Samantha here. I'm English, adopted by the Welsh. So I'm Wenglish too.

Unruly indeed. Strange how the English wanted to keep the Welsh out!!

Sandra said...

i did not know sheep had an accent but i did know they are cute.. love the close up of heir faces. the two photos of the castle are amazing to me and if only i had a way to get there that would not make me sick, i would be over there as quick as a wink. i have always wanted to see the old old old castles and this makes me want to even more.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Love the ruin. It reminds me of a drawing in one of the Narnia books.

The photos are gorgeous!

Ellie VanCaster said...

I love the tour you give us-the photos and details are so neat they make one feel like they are learning as they travel with you.
Have a great weekend

TexWisGirl said...

you do love sheep. :) so cute! such ancient structures there!

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing.

Terri D. said...

Always interesting!! Thank you for sharing!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Love the pictures.......and the sheep! ;)

Suzan Sweatman said...

Just gorgeous Judy! Those sheep even look Welsh to me lol - I know nothing about Wales ( sadly ) thanks for the little bit of History - which by the way is my favorite subject by far!
Happy weekend - Happy Mothers day!

podso said...

I always enjoy your posts on your time in the UK. Lovely sheep ! Happy Mother's Day!

Ana Lopes said...

Beautiful photos! What a wonderful castle.Thanks for sharing.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs from Portugal,

Ana Love Craft

Willow said...

Clapping wildly I love old Castles in the United Kingdom. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend. We will probably take a leisurely pony cart ride aound the craberry bogs :)

Debra @ Homespun said...

lovely photos / I enjoyed the tour! :)

Donna said...

Such fun, exploring the English countryside!

Fairhope Supply Co. said...

England is the next big trip I want to take. Such beautiful photos!

Ruth Kelly said...

We saw the Golden Valley and I can't believe we missed a castle. We were looking in Longtown too.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Oh those photos are stunning, if you have a chance you should try and play with some textures they would look great on those shots.

Wasn't soaker hoses, it was the new irrigation lines we just put in, haven't had a chance to bury them yet.


J_on_tour said...

Fascinating castle with a great opening shot of it. Nice sheep too.

I'm not familiar with your route but I once was taken to Hay from the Hereford direction which we have talked about before.

Kali Smith said...

We visited that area! Hay-On-Wye (which was one of my favorite places!!) was supposed to be our first stop after crossing over into Wales... but we got stuck in Brecon instead, because we missed the last bus of the day by 15 minutes. Only place we could find to stay was a tiny little room above a pub in town. Not quite the start to our trip we had planned, LOL! For a minute I thought the place we stayed in Brecon had the same name as the place you mentioned getting dinner at, but I think it was the Boar's Head - no the Bull's. Close though ;-)


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