Saturday, 22 February 2014

Castles & Forts

The UK is scattered with the remains old castles and forts, just look at an Ordnance Survey map and you will see them marked up.  Many when you see them are just  pile of earth others are recognizable. In this blog I will show some of the ones that I visited.

 I will start with a hill fort which is not far from where I live, Wittenham Clumps, this is an Iron Age hill fort and if you walk round it you can see the surrounding ditch that was part of the defense. The hill is called Castle Hill now but dominated the surrounding area.
Not far away is another fort like this only without the ditch.

This is called Blewburton Hill and on the OS map it is marked Fort, it also has terracing.

Nearby in a village called South Moreton you can find a mound behind the church which looks like an old Motte & Bailey

 Not so far away you can see what was probably a siege castle though you can see the remains better when you pass by on the train

The castle was most likely  used for siege of Wallingford Castle which is the next one I will show

 It was built sometime after 1086. It was used regularly by Royalty untill the town was hit buy the black death when it declined  and some of the castle was demolished for the stone to be used on Winsor Castle. After the Royalists held out for 65 days in the civil war Cromwell ordered  it destroyed
There is not much let to see of the old castle though some walls do remain

Some of the stone was used on the tower of St Mary-Le-More 
in the town.
Walking over castle meadows you can see the dips and mounds from where the walls and moats were.

Looking round the site shows the place was large indeed.
All these castles and forts you have just seen are within about 5 miles of where I live.


The next few I will show are in Wales, the first is  Tretower Castle

Which also has a small museum that you have to pay to get in, not sure it  was open when I visited  but from the photos I have seen it is worth a visit if your passing.

A little way  over the Welsh boarder along the A44 you come to New Radnor where you can see a castle mound above the trees.

Nice view from the top

The ditch between the mounds

Along the A44 after New Rador you can see Tomen Castle  

And further along Castell Crugerydd

If you turn left towards Builth Wells after Tomen Castle you will come to Hundred House and you can see this mound that looks like it may have been a fort at some time.

A  short distance away is Colwyn castle

Its owned by Fforest Farm so ask if you want to look round the site

You can make out the out like of the old Norman castle and you can see a moat.

I you visit the Fforest field campsite down the road you can see a Motte & Bailey

Nearer Builth Wells you visit Aberedw castle

A lot of the ruined walls are there and you can see a lot of the outline
though a lot of one side was robbed when the old railway was run past the place

Finally on this blog we come to Builth Castle which would have dominated  the river crossing of the Wye nearby

 Only mounds and ditches can be seen now

Though you do get a good view from the top.

Those are a few of the Castles I have visited on my travels round the UK there are many more you can see some that are in better condition and others little more that what I have shown. Next time you go for a walk look at the Ordnance Survey map of the area and see if you can find any castles to visit


  1. Really interesting blog especially the ones close to where you live as I now recognise the places you are talking about. Very good photos.

    1. I think it is amazing what is around if you know where look. You have to admit the clumps have a commanding view of the area

  2. Fascinating history. I would have most likely overlooked any of these. I guess the most comparable things to these that we have in the U.S. is some of the Indian mounds and traces of old village sites where they once lived.

    Tossing It Out

    1. I think most people would overlook them, even I have before now. Think I will do one on Roman sites next they are even harder to spot.

  3. Wonderful post and great photos Bill.

  4. Replies
    1. I get to see a lot of thatwhen I go outto find these places.

  5. Beautiful photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

    1. Thanks for the comment and thanks for visiting

  6. These are the kind of places I miss from the UK - but I do have parrots to make up for that I suppose!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. We have parrots as well flying round in London but then I would not miss that place though no doubt some would

  7. That is fascinating. We don't have the history here in Oklahoma USA like you do with the castles and such. I am in the pipeline industry and it is amazing to me what trained archeologists find about remnants from Native American camps, and villages.

    1. Well I'm not trained but I do know what to look for over here. So your into technology like me then though I've been working on the scientific side for the last 40 odd years

  8. WHat lovely rural scenery - makes me sigh and feel a little homesick.

  9. These are awesome shots. It's my dream to visit myself some day. Thanks for your comment on my blog--and to answer your questions, yes, we are too rural for city water so our source is rainwater.

    1. There are some nicer places to visit in the UK but these are places you can see marked on a map.
      Thought you would have had underground tanks or a borehole

  10. Interesting photos. Nothing is permanent, but at least nature is still at work.

    1. So true even with todays buildings it sill gets reclamed by nature