This forgotten castle of Herefordshire, still standing mostly to
battlement height, remains a monument to its forgotten lords.
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.
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.
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.
Available for £9.95 through the PayPal
Paul Martin Remfry