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Lingen Castle

HER no. 1669, OS grid ref: SO 3658 6727

Lingen parish is in the north-west of the county, 5km west of Wigmore. The site is in a field on the north side of Lingen churchyard.

Description of the site today

The castle consists of a motte and bailey earthwork immediately north of the church. It is a roughly circular motte with a large bailey on the west side.

The motte is c. 21m in diameter at the top and it rises c. 7m above the bottom of a dry ditch. It is roughly level on the summit, though the north-east portion is slightly higher.

The bailey on the west is roughly square and has the remains of an inner rampart with traces of a deep ditch on the south and west. On the south side a second rampart forms a bank to the moat. There are traces of a curtain wall around the bailey. 

The western defences can now hardly be traced. There is evidence to suggest that a shell keep with a gatehouse on the west side may once have existed on this site. The site is now under pasture but the features remain clearly visible and in good condition.

Adjacent to the castle on the north side are earthworks that represent the remains of a village (HER 8267). Lingen castle and its associated village is an excellent example of a planned Welsh Borders Norman settlement with its castle, church and fossilised village still present today.

Foundation and history of the castle and site

Turstin held the manor under the Mortimers at the time of the Domesday Survey, and this site is less important as a fortress than as a seat of the Mortimers. Turstin's descendant Ralph de Wigmore founded the priory at Limebrook under Richard I.

1256: John de Lingen gained a grant of free warren for himself and his heirs at Lingen. Under Edward I (1272-1307), another Sir John de Lingen was knighted.

A century later the king entrusted Richard de Lingen with certain powers. He was given permission to buy and sell cattle in Herefordshire.

Under Edward IV (1461-1483) the name Lingen appears in a list of sheriffs of Herefordshire.

1470-1476: Sir John Lingen married one of the co-heirs of Sir John Burgh. His son John acquired Stoke Edith by marriage.