Wilton Castle

Overview
This forgotten castle of Herefordshire, still standing mostly to battlement height, remains a monument to its forgotten lords.
History
Within the booklet the almost forgotten Longchamps of Wilton are examined. In their time they provided bailiffs of Normandy, chancellors of England, sheriffs of Hereford and enemies of King John.  They were succeeded by the families of Cantilupe and Grey who between them built up a powerbase in Wales.  Matilda Grey, nee Cantilupe, stood up in court in 1292 and lied through her teeth to the king that the castle had been built by her Longchamp ancestors in the days of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066).  In fact the castle could not have been built before 1154 and certainly the 'barony' never held the Marcher rights Lady Matilda claimed for it!  The castle was extensively renovated in the fifteenth century and in the sixteenth was considered superior to nearby Goodrich castle.  It was finally ruined by royalists in the Civil War.
Genealogy
The family of Longchamp is looked at in detail and the ancestry claimed for them back to Saxon days is quashed.  The genealogy of their Cantilupe, Grey and Brydges successors is then explored from the Welsh to the French and Scottish wars.
Archaeology
The extensive twelfth and thirteenth century remains of Wilton castle are examined at length and its building and development is discussed with the aid of many plans and photographs.  The castle currently consists of a stunning great tower, previously mistaken for a gatehouse, two intact mural towers and the remains of a third together with much enjoining curtain walls.  The great tower, no doubt built by the Greys, bares similarities to the ruins of Ruthin castle in Clwyd which was also held by them.

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Copyright©2010 Paul Martin Remfry


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