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Parishes: P (castles)

Pembridge: motte and bailey

Historic Environment Record reference no. 1163, Ordnance Survey grid reference: SO 3452 5850

Pembridge, with its many timber-framed houses, is a wonderful medieval village some six miles north-west of Leominster. In the Domesday Survey of 1086 Pembridge was recorded as Penebrug(g)e, which probably meant "Pena's bridge" (Bruce Coplestone-Crow, Herefordshire Place-Names, British Archaeological Reports British Series 214, 1989, p. 156).

This mound is located between Pembridge and Kington, south-east of Strangeworth Farm, on low-lying ground near the junction of a disused railway line.

The moated mound is steep and roughly square with a flat top. It measures c. 12m across the base and rises c.4.6m above a dry ditch. The ditch was originally fed by a stream on the east side. The original approach was by a causeway entrance to the north.

A drainage channel has been cut to the south, and this revealed very rough red, black and grey pottery. Partially-glazed roof tiles and early bricks suggest that this site had a later use as a pottery kiln.

History of the Pembridge site

In the Domesday Book of 1086 Pembridge was held by Earl Harold. It had eleven hides which paid tax and two ploughs in lordship. There were twenty villagers, seven smallholders and one riding man with twelve ploughs. There were also three slaves and a mill worth 10s, as well as enough woodland for 160 pigs.  The ownership of Pembridge appears to have been in controversy as the Canons of St Guthlac's Priory in Hereford also claimed the manor of Pembridge. They stated that Earl Godwin and his son Harold had wrongfully seized it from St Guthlac's. The value before 1066 had been £16, later it became waste and by 1086 it was worth £10 10s. (Frank and Caroline Thorn (eds.), Domesday Book 17: Herefordshire, 19,8, Phillimore, 1983)

It had been thought that this was the site of an early castle site with moat but no stonework. However, more recent examination and the lack of surrounding outworks suggests that this is actually the site of a 12th century motte and a homestead of later date.

Pipe and Lyde: castle

HER no. 11184, OS grid ref: SO 4970 4390

Four kilometres north-north-west of Hereford and 0.5km west-south-west of Pipe and Lyde church is the site of a possible castle, discovered by David Whitehead in 1976.

The site includes castle enclosures and a bailey. It looks like a low-level wet defended castle site and there are lots of loose stone and buried foundations. The motte is low and poorly preserved.

The most prominent feature is an irregularly-shaped platform surrounded on three sides by a ditch. On the north, the ditch separates this platform from a large rectangular enclosure which looks onto a dry fishpond. There is a further small enclosure 3m above the "bailey".

This site is a borderline castle. The number of enclosures point to it being a castle with baileys, but the weakness of the earthworks and the fact that it was church property are more suggestive of a castle-like manor which was lightly defended.

Foundation and history of the Pipe and Lyde site

1225-50: There is a mention of a castle in a charter of this period. Later, a Knight for the Bishop of Hereford probably held it from the early days of the Norman kings until the 14th century.

The earthworks are likely to be remains of three Lydes mentioned in the Domesday Survey, Lay Subsidy and the Poll Tax in 1377.

1838: In the tithe award the field above the site is called "Castle Head".

Pipe Aston: Aston Tump

HER no. 313, OS grid ref: SO 4618 7190

Pipe Aston is a small village in the far north of the county, not far from the Shropshire border. Situated 0.1km to the north of the Norman church is a roughly circular earth and stone motte, rising 7m above a wet ditch. It has a base diameter of c. 47m. The top is 22m across and is said to contain stone foundations.

The motte is now heavily covered in trees but it is still a distinct feature. The moat is now marshy and about 11m wide. A stream flowing from the north-east to the south-west fed the moat.

The partially-buried foundations of a polygonal shell keep with at least one small D-shaped tower have been discovered.

The castle probably dates from the 11th century.

At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086 Aston was held as three manors by five men. It consisted of three hides which paid tax and had two ploughs in lordship. Five villagers and two smallholders had three ploughs but the land was waste. The value was 30s. (Frank and Caroline Thorn (eds.), Domesday Book 17: Herefordshire, 9,4, Phillimore, 1983)

The tump is legally protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Pipe Aston: motte and bailey

HER no. 6366, OS grid ref: SO 4622 7211

Pipe Aston is a very small village in the north of the county, close to the Shropshire border.

Approximately 350m north-east of the Norman church, and just to the south of the road, a small, weak motte and bailey is situated on a low spur with a stream on the north side. The motte is a circular mound 50m in diameter at the base, with a flat top rising at most 1.5m above the surrounding ground. It is separated from the bailey by a ditch 6m wide and 0.5m deep; the bank is 4m wide and 0.5m high.

The bailey measures 60m east to west by 40m north to south. It is bounded on the north by a scarp 2m high, and on the south by a ditch, 10m and up to 2m deep. The ditch runs round to the south side, fading to 7m wide and 0.7m deep.

The area has been under plough and the monument's features have been spread, making accurate interpretation difficult.

Putley: Putley Castle

HER no. 7464, OS grid ref: SO 6485 3732

Putley is a village in the east of the county, some 4 miles west of Ledbury. The name Putley most probably means "hawk clearing"; Putta may be a personal name (Bruce Coplestone-Crow, Herefordshire Place-Names, British Archaeological Reports British Series 214, 1989, p. 171).

There is not much to see on this site except for a small mound with a stunted tree on top. There is evidence of stones overgrown with grass on the top of the mound.

An elderly resident recalls that the site has always been called "Putley Castle", and he remembers walls standing when he was a little boy.

In the Domesday Survey of 1086 Putley was held by Roger de Lacy. There was one hide which paid tax, two villagers and one smallholder as well as two slaves. The value was 20s. (Frank and Caroline Thorn (eds.), Domesday Book 17: Herefordshire, Phillimore, 10,4, 1983)