Ewyas Harold Castle, Ewyas Harold

 

The remains of Ewyas Harold Castle, a motte and bailey castle located above the valley of the Dulas Brook one of a number of Medieval defensive sites located along the Golden Valley and adjacent Marches valleys.

 

The earliest defence was probably built in 1048 and identified as Osbern Pentecosts castle of 1052 and recorded in the Domesday survey. The castle fell into decay in the 14th century although it was regarrisoned in 1402. John Leland recorded in 1530 that a great deal of the castle was still standing but by 1645 Royalist Richard Simmonds reported that it was no longer standing.

 

The motte measures up to 15 metres high and 75 metres around the base. It is separated from the bailey by a ditch.

 

 

 

 

St. Michael & All Angels Church, Ewyas Harold

 

The attractive church in Ewyas Harold dominates the village and is the central church of this group, or benefice. Its massive 13th century tower was originally detached and is evocative of the need for a secure refuge in troubled times along the English-Welsh border.

 

The builders were the Tregoz family who held the nearby castle, with its chapel of Saint Nicholas. The early 14th century effigy in the chancel is reputed to be of Clarissa de la Warr, daughter of John Tregoz and grand-daughter of the sister of Saint Thomas Cantilupe of Hereford. 16th century carvings from Flanders and 17th century panels were preserved in the restoration. There are six bells. The stained-glass is among the features added in modern times. The cross base and shaft in the graveyard are medieval.

 

 

 

 

 

The Recreation Ground, Ewyas Harold

 

The Recreation Ground, located near St.Michael & All Angels Church, consists of a big playing fields with a football pitch, cricket pitch, children's play area, pavilion, toilets, car park, picnic benches & access to the local stream.

 

It is a perfect area for children to play.

 

Dogs are allowed but please make sure to clean up after them.

 

During the football season there is usually a match played on Saturday Afternoon as the village has two senior football teams. You may catch the occasional cricket match on a Sunday in the summer.

 

 

 

 

Ewyas Harold Common

 

Ewyas Harold Common covers an area of 50.8 ha (125.5 acres) on a plateau above Herefordshire's Golden Valley, and rises to 164m at its highest point.

 

From the top of the common there are wonderful views of Garway Hill to the southeast, the Skirrid to the south, and the Black Mountains and Hay Bluff to the west. The common is a magnificient wild space and an important local amenity. It contains numerous relics of past use, including quarries,, lime kilns, orchards and abandoned house sites. And it is a wildlife oasis, rich in butterflies, flowers and fungi, and an excellent site for bird watching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dore Abbey, Abbeydore

 

Dore Abbey or the Church of the Holy Trinity & St.Mary was founded in 1147 by Robert FitzHarold of Ewyas, the Lord of Ewyas Harold. The abbey is located close to the River Dore. It was formed as a daughter house of the Cistercian Abbey at Morimond, perhaps after Lord Robert had met the Abbot of Morimond on the Second Crusade.

 

Construction of buildings in local sandstone began around 1175, and continued through the time of the first threee abbots, Adam (1186 - c.1216), Adam II (c.1216 - 1236) and Stephen of Worcester (1236 - 1257). The design of the church was modelled on that of Morimond, with a presbytery, two chapels, two transepts, a crossing and a nave.

 

 

 

 

 

Grosmont Castle, Grosmont

 

Grosmont Castle is a ruined castle, very near the border with Herefordshire, England, and overlooking a bend in the River Monnow. It is generally considered to have been largely built by Hubert de Burgh early in the 13th century, on an earlier Norman foundation, but was extended in the 14th century.

 

The site is managed by Cadw, and is open without chrage on very day of the year except for 24th, 25th, 26th December and 1st January. A lane, opposite St.Nicholas Church, near the Post Office in Grosmont village, leads north to the castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Three Castles Walk

 

The Three Castles Walk is a waymarked long distance footpath and recreational walk. The walk covers 31.2 kilometres (19.4 mi) on a circular route which links Grosmont Castle, Skenfrith Castle and White Castle.

 

It follows woods and hills and takes the walker over Graig Syfyrddin (Edmunds Tump), from which there are views of the Welsh Marches and the mountains of South Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church of St.Nicholas, Grosmont

 

St. Nicholas Church is a 13th-century parish church rescued from dereliction in the nineteenth century.

 

The church is a "noble Early English building crowned by an octagonal Decorated tower and spire". It is built of Old Red Sandstone with ashlar dressings and slate roofs. In the late 19th century the church was close to collapse and was saved through an extensive reconstruction in 1869-79 by J. P. Seddon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church of St.Mary & St. David, Kilpeck

 

The Church of St.Mary & St.David was built around 1140, and almost certainly before 1143 when it was given to the Abbey of Gloucester. It may have replaced an earlier Saxon church at the same site, and the oval raised form of the churchyard is typical of even older Celtic foundations. Around the 6th and 7th centuries the Kilpeck area was within the British Kingdom of Ergyng, which maintained Christian traditions dating back to the late Roman period. The possibility of the site holding Roman and even megalithic remains has been raised, but is unproven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longtown Castle, Longtown

 

Longtown Castle is a ruined Norman motte-and-bailey fortification. Built around 1175 by Hugh de Lacy, possibly reusing former Roman earthworks, the castle had an unusual design with three baileys and two large enclosures to protect the neighbouring town.

 

Early in the next century the castle was rebuilt in stone, with a circular keep erected on the motte and a gatehouse constructed between the inner and outer western baileys. By the 14th century, Longtown Castle had fallen into decline. Despite being pressed back into use during the Owain Glyndwr rising in 1403, it became ruined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garway Hill

 

Garway Hill is a prominent local landmark rising to over 1200 feet.

 

From the top of the Hill there is a view of seven counties in a 360-degree panorama. White mountain horses graze there most of the year and raise their foals amongst the bracken. Sheep roam freely. A pond near the summit provides a water supply for the animals which lasts all the year round, despite there being no visible source to keep it topped up. The pond is also home to a protected species of newt.

 

The hill teems with bird life - 70 species have been recorded here - and there are butterflies in profusion.

 

 

 

 

 

Skenfrith Castle, Skenfrith

 

Skenfrith Castle is a medieval castle located in Monmouthshire, Wales. The castle is in the centre of the village of Skenfrith, located on the banks of the River Monnow, five and a half miles north-west of the town of Monmouth. The first defences were built shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066, although the remains of the castle that stand today date from the early thirteenth century. The castle is a Grade II* listed building as at 19 November 1953.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

River Monnow, Skenfrith

 

The Monnow marks the border between England and Wales before it joins the River Wye at Monmouth. The Monnow is bridged at Monmouth by the unique medieval Monnow Bridge. The Monnow Valley Walk follws the river.

 

The river rises near Craswall on Cefn Hill just below the high Black Mountains. It flows southwards, gaining the waters of its tributaries the Escley Brook and Olchon Brook near Clodock and the waters of Afon Honddu, from the Welsh side of the Black Mountains, near Pandy. The river then flows briefly eastwards, to Pontrilas, where it is joined by its largest tributary, the River Dore before again turning southwards. At Monmouth the river joins into the River Wye and the River Trothy. Its total length is around 42 miles (68 km).

 

 

 

 

 

St. Mary's Church, Madley

 

In about 550AD the Celtic Saint Dyfig (or Dubricius) was reputedly born in Madley and probably founded the first Christian community here. There would have been a simple wooden meeting place on this site, a church dedicated to St. Dyfrig/Dubricius or to his mother St. Efrdyl.

 

The Normans built the first stone church here around 1100AD; this was greatly enlarged in the Early English style in about 1250AD with further additions around 1320AD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Hill or Cats Back

 

The Black Hill is a hill (elevation 640m) in the Black Mountains in Herefordshire, at grid reference SO275348. It rises just west of the village of Craswall, near the border with Wales.

 

The Black Hill is known locally as the 'Cat's Back' as viewed from Herefordshire it looks like a crouching cat about to pounce.

 

Bruce Chatwin used the Black Hill as the setting for his novel On the Black Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Castle, Llantilio Crossenny

 

White Castle is a medieval castle in Monmouthshire, Wales. The name "White Castle" was first recorded in the thirteenth century, and was derived from the whitewash put on the stone walls. The castle was originally called Llantilio Castle (recorded in the Pipe Rolls in 1186), after Llantilio Crossenny, the medieval manor of which it was a part. Known as one of the "Three Castles", there has been a defensive structure at the site since the late eleventh century. The castle ruins are Grade I listed as at 19 November 1953.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ysgryd Fawr or The Skirrid

 

Ysgyryd Fawr is the most easterly of the Black Mountains in Wales, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The name is often anglicised to The Skirrid or Skirrid Fawr, and the mountain is also known as Holy Mountain or Sacred Hill.

 

It is 486 m high and lies just outside Abergavenny, Monmouthsire, about 10 miles from the English border. The Beacons Way passes along the ridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Town of Abergavenny

 

Abergavenny is promoted as the "Gateway to Wales". Situated at the confluence of a tributary stream, the Gavenny, and the River Usk, it is almost surrounded by two mountains - the Blorenge (559 m) and the Sugar Loaf (596 m).

 

Originally the site of a Roman fort, Gobannium, it became a medieval walled town within the Welsh Marches. The town conatins the remains of a medieval stone castle built soon after the Norman conquest of Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arthur's Stone, Dorstone

 

Arthur's Stone is a Neolithic chambered tomb, or Dolmen, dating from 3,700 BC - 2,700 BC and is situated on the ridge line of a hill overlooking both the Godlen Valley, Herefordshire and the Wye Valley, Herefordshire.

 

The tomb is topped by a large capstone, estimated to weigh more than 25 tonnes. The capstone rests on nine uprights and there is a curved, 4.6 metre long entrance passageway. To the south, a stone known as the 'Quoit Stone' bears small man-made cup marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hereford Cathedral, Hereford

 

Hereford Cathedral located at Hereford, dates from 1079. Its most famous treasure is Mappa Mundi, a mediaeval map of the world dating from the 13th century. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Black & White House, Hereford

 

The Old Blakc & White House is situated in High Town at the heart of historic Hereford, and is one of the county's most famous black and white houses. Built in 1621, the whole house is furnished in 17th century style. Visitors can get a feel for what it was like to live in Cromwell's day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Llanthony Priory, Llanthony

 

Llanthony Priory is a partly ruined, former Augustinian priory in the secluded Vale of Ewyas, a steep sided once glaciated valley within the Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Monmouthshire, south east Wales.

 

It lies seven miles north of Abergavenny on an old road to Hay on Wye at Llanthony. The main ruins are under the care of Cadw and entrance is free. The priory is a Grade I listed building as of 1 September 1956. Within the precincts of the Priory are two other buildings with Grade I listed status: the Abbey Hotel, listed on1 September 1956; and the Church of St. David, listed on the same date.

 

 

 

 

 

Merbach Hill Common

 

A spectacularly positioned common lying around 1000 feet up above the Wye valley, with glorious views to the Malvern Hills to the east, Clee Hill to the north, Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains to the south and the Welsh hills to the west. The common is mostly rough gorse, fern, scrub and greassland, and is a little haven for butterflies.

 

There are some 20 species of butterfly have been recorded here recently, including small white, small tortoiseshell, peacock, gatekeeper, meadow brown, ringlet, small heath and green veined white. There are often buzzards circling overhead, and slow worms have been seen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Black Mountains, Red / Black Darren

 

The Black Mountains are a group of hills spread across part of Powys and Monmouthshire in southeast Wales, and extending across the national border into Herefordshire. They are the easternmost of the four ranges of hills that comprise the Brecon Beacons National Park.

 

An impressive set of landslip forms can be seen at Black Darren and Red Darren (Darren signifies 'edge' in Welsh) on the eastern side of the Hatterrall ridge west of Longtown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hay-On-Wye

 

Hay-On-Wye often described as 'the town of books' is a small market town and community in Powys, Wales.

 

Hay-On-Wye is the destination for bibliophiles in the United Kingdom, still with two dozen bookshops, many selling specialist and second-hand books, although the number has declined sharply in recent years, many becoming general antique shops and similar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grwyne Fawr Reservoir

 

The Grwyne Fawr Reservoir itself is an imposing structure, 153 feet high and very steep.  Building started in 1908, but construction problems and the first world war delayed completion until February 1928.  It then took until November that year to fill to capacity.  The dam was built as part of the solution to the problem of severe sickness in the south Wales towns, which was rife in the late nineteenth century, and also partly to supply the Cwmtillery colliery with water.  The area above the dam, just to the east, has several unusual industrial relics set into the ground: large concrete plinths and heavy duty anchoring points.  It looks like they’re left over from the building of the dam, and were perhaps used as the foundations for a crane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Ewyas Harold and Surrounding Villages of Abbeydore | Allensmore | Bacton | Bagwyllydiart | Bont | Brampton | Clehonger | Clodock | Craswall | Cwmyoy | Dulas | Garway | Grosmont | Hoaldalbert | Howton | Kentchurch | Kerrys Gate | Kilpeck | Kingstone | Llangattock Lingoed | Llangua | Llantony | Llanveynoe | Llanvihangel Crucorney | Longtown | Lower Maescoed | Madley | Michaelchurch Escley | Much Dewchurch | Newton | Oldcastle | Orcop | Pandy | Peterchurch | Pontrilas | Rowlestone | Skenfrith | St. Margarets | Tre-wyn | Turnastone | Urishay | Vowchurch | Walterstone | White Rocks | Whitfieldd | Wormbridge | Wormelow

 

Closest Towns of Abergavenny | Hay on Wye | Hereford | Monmouth | Ross on Wye