Penyard Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NamePenyard Castle
Alternative NamesPeniard; Penzard
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishRoss Rural

Penyard Castle, house, ruins and earthworks. The castle was a building of considerable extent dating at least from the first half of the 14th c. It was evidently ruined in the 17th c. when the existing house was built incorporating part of the earlier building. The remains are of stone, those in the house forming parts of the S and W walls. Immediately adjoining the house on the S and extending to the W are remains of a 14th c. undercroft of at least four bays. It was about 17' wide and bases of some of the chamfered responds and a fireplace remain. About 24' W of the house and parallel to it are the foundations of a thick wall and still farther to the W are fragments of walling including remains of a short flight of stone stairs and a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The remains stand on a natural terrace, with a scarped enclosure on the S and E sides, part of a ditch on the SW side and various other banks and foundation mounds remain. In bad condition (RCHME). Those parts described by the Royal Commission can no longer be inspected. The Farmhouse has collapsed, and the 14th c. undercroft is filled with nettles and undergrowth. In the one end-gable of the farmhouse which stands up, is a two-light window with pointed trefoiled heads (Pevsner). An additional area of faint earthworks in the field to the west

of the castle. Scheduled c. 1969 (HAN, 1969). Penyard Castle. Ruins of castle and house. Early C14 and C17. Sandstone. North and south gable walls with chimneys, and part of east wall, remain of house. North wall has blocked window on first floor, of two trefoiled ogee lights. South wall has blocked chamfered doorway with canted head: To the west a detached wall remains to a height of approximately five metres. The site was over-grown and not fully visible at time of survey (April 1986). RCHM in 1932 recorded the remains of a C14 undercroft adjoining to the south of the house (Listed Building Report)

To the south of the main castle site three rectilinear depressions, which could be the undercrofts described by sources 2-3 above, were also recorded as earthworks. The castle belonged to the Talbots of Liverpool in the 13th century and possibly earlier. What is inserted from the original castle and what is in situ is difficult to establish without detailed survey. Some similarities with Goodrich Castle have been noted and these need to be properly analysed bearing in mind the joint ownership (Shoesmith). (PastScape)

The ruins of a Medieval castle and house of early C14 and C17 date. C14 undercroft was seen to be full of nettles in 1986 and the farmhouse has collapsed. The site was very overgrown. Members of the archaeology section of the Woolhope Club visited the site (16/05/93). On the site of the castle C17 house built in the ruins has further deteriorated since last visited by members in 1979. The fine quality of the stone work led to the suggestion that the site was developed more for luxury than military needs. An historical note is included about those that held Peniard starting with the Talbots, who may have held Peniard as early as C12. The first reference to a park at Penyard is in the Inquisition of the Forest in 1334. Suggestion that the original castle, probably late C13, consisted of a rectangular tower with a courtyard to the east. (Herefordshire SMR)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO618225
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  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 250-2
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 56
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 476
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 103 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 210
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 80
  • Pevsner, N., 1963, Buildings of England: Herefordshire (Harmondsworth) p. 317
  • RCHME, 1932, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 2: east p. 166 no. 2 online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 115 online copy
  • Robinson, C.J., 1872, A History of the Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire (Logaston Press, 2001 reprint)
  • Robinson, C.J., 1869, The Castles of Herefordshire and Their Lords (London: Longman) p. 116-17 online copy


  • 2004, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 75 p. 56-60
  • 1994, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 62 p. 5
  • Archaeological Research Section Woolhope NFC, 1993, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 60 p. 21-24 (plan)
  • Attfield, C.E. (ed), 1980, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 37 p. 3-6
  • 1969, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 13 p. 7 (plan)
  • Cohen, I. and Martin, Preb S.H., 1951, 'Archaeology, Report by Sectional Editor' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 33.3 p. 272
  • Marshall, G., 1928, 'Penyard Castle in the Parish of Weston-under-Penyard' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 129-36


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 3 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 4 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 5 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 5 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 21 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 21 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 30 online copy