• Lucy

Snodhill Castle (Herefordshire, England)

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

A Marcher castle, Snodhill Castle is a motte and bailey on a prominent ridge in the parish of Peterchurch, overlooking the river Dore.

The shell keep was constructed on the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle which is believed to have been established in the 11th century. It was in the hands of the crown in 1195-7, and was restored to Robert de Chandos in 1197. The keep dates from around 1200, and some remodelling of the masonry defences was carried out by the Chandos family in the 14th century. In 1403 it was ordered to be held against Owain Glendwr.

The manor and castle of Snodhill were granted by Elizabeth I to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who sold the estate to a branch of the Vaughan family. When they sold it to Thomas Prosser of London the castle was ruinous and Prosser never inhabited the site.

The site was then abandoned and neglected for over 350 years, overtaken by nature and practically forgotten.

The Snodhill Castle Preservation Trust took on ownership of the site and in March 2016 a group of volunteers began clearing away undergrowth. Historic England carried out emergency works to prevent the castle’s collapse in 2016. In 2017, they granted funding for a major programme of rescue and restoration undertaken by Sally Strachey Historic Building Conservation, supported by the efforts of local volunteers.

Now the site is open to public and I visited the day after its grand opening on a gorgeous Sunday morning to take these pictures.

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