Tom Hoverd & the Tale of Two Castles
7th November 2018
Eaton Bishop Village Hall
This event was hosted by the Eaton Bishop Historical Society. Tom Hoverd an Archeologist, working for Hereford Council gave a lively illustrated talk on the recent two year project covering both , Longtown Castle and Pont Hedre Motte and Bailey.
The simultaneous excavations helped to answer many questions about the two sites. They confirmed that The Longtown Castle site was indeed built upon an earlier Roman square fort site. Artefacts found there demonstrated both roman use and later medieval use as well as use in the 11th and 12th centuries.
The excavations at Pont Hendre were decidedly short of artefacts and very little was found. The implication from the dig there, suggested that the site may well have been incompletely built. So early work was done on the fortifications, but then abandoned later before a tower was erected. The most likely interpretation is that, the works were pursued to show military intention and strategy. But were later abandoned before completion, in an acceptance of an untenable military situation.
Herefordshire is littered with the remnants Motte and Bailey fortifications, most of which have not been excavated. So this raises the question of how many were actually used as permanently manned fortifications, and how many were simply military campaign efforts, built and later abandoned at a later date before occupation was complete?
The talk was extremely informative, interesting and well-presented and was well received by the local Society.
Dave Howerski 7/11/2018