The village lies on the B4361 road, 5 1⁄2 miles (8.9 km) south of the historic market town of Ludlow. It is to some degree a dispersed settlement, with an older core near the castle, some 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) to the northwest of the now larger main part of the village which is situated on the B4361. There is a Village Hall and a traditional public house called The Castle Inn, both situated on the B4361.
Today the fortress is reduced mainly to its earthworks and foundations. A polygonal keep stood on the high motte or mound. This was reached possibly via a semi-circular barbican. The bailey wall still stands twenty feet high in places and there are remains of several towers and an early gatehouse around the perimeter. There, earthwork remains of an outer ward enclosing the church (St Bartholomew's) and a borough defence. As you enter the village of Richards Castle from the Ludlow side, turn right on Weatcommon Lane up to St. Barthomlew's church and cross the graveyard up the incline to the bailey.
Richard Fitz Scrob (or Fitz Scrope) was a Norman knight granted lands by the Saxon King Edward the Confessor before the Norman Conquest, in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire as recorded in the Domesday Book. He built Richard's Castle before 1051. The castle was a motte-and-bailey style construction, one of only three or four castles of this type built before the Norman conquest. Most were built after the conquest. Richard was last mentioned in 1067. His castle passed to his son, Osbern Fitz Richard, who married Nesta, the daughter of King Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of Wales.
Osbern died around 1137 and was succeeded by his grandson, Osbern Fitz Hugh (md to a sister of Rosamond Clifford), who died in 1187. Richard's Castle then passed to his marital brother-in-law, Hugh de Say, who died in 1190, leaving the barony to his son, another Hugh Say. Thus the castle passed out of the line of descent of Richard Fitz Scrob. In 1196 this Hugh fought at the battle at New Radnor and was probably killed there, his castles eventually passing to Robert de Mortimer of Attleborough. In 1264 his son, Hugh Mortimer, was forced to surrender himself and Richard's Castle to Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester. His grandson, the last Hugh Mortimer of Richard's Castle, was poisoned to death by his wife in 1304. The castle then passed to the Talbots, through Richard Talbot's marriage to Joan Mortimer. On 3 December 1329, Joan late the wife of Richard Thalebot, had noted in the Patent Rolls that she planned to leave Richard's Castle to John de Wotton, chaplain, and William Balle of Underlith, in fee simple. The Talbots were still living there in the late 14th century. By the 16th century it was in ruins.
Much of the village lies in Herefordshire, however there are two civil parishes named after Richard's Castle, one on the Herefordshire side of the county border called Richard's Castle (Hereford), and the other called Richard's Castle (Shropshire) (or "Richard's Castle (Salop)" historically). Both have their own parish council, which work together on some issues for the combined Richard's Castle community.
The castle ruins, St Bartholomew's Church, the Castle Inn pub, and former Methodist chapel lie in the Herefordshire half, whilst the Shropshire side includes All Saints Church, the Village Hall and the former primary school. The Shropshire civil parish includes the villages of Overton and Woofferton, the hamlets of Batchcott and Mitnell, as well as Wheatcommon, Moor Park and McCartneys auction centre. The Herefordshire civil parish includes Haye Park, which forms an almost detached part. Hanway Common is divided between the two parishes, with the county boundary running through it.
The original parish church was St Bartholomew's Church situated close to and east of the castle. The church was founded by either Richard Fitz Scrobe or his son. The chancel was probably built in 1362. The north transept was probably consecrated in 1351 by Bishop John de Trillek. This was the Chantry Chapel of the local Knights Templar. The south aisle was built between 1310 and 1320. This beautiful church is now redundant. There is a detached bell tower (one of six in the county) that dates from the second half of the 13th century. The church is between it and the castle. There are no openings in the bell tower between it and the castle. (See The Cathedral Library, Hereford).
The current parish church is All Saints, designed by the notable architect Richard Norman Shaw, and opened in 1892. It is situated north of the village, in the Batchcott area, by the side of the B4361 road.
There was also a Primitive Methodist chapel, which is now a dwelling.
Richard's Castle once had a primary school, which was adjacent to the present-day Village Hall.
- Shropshire Council Richard's Castle Village Hall
- CAMRA Whatpub.com Castle Inn, Richard's Castle
- Britain, Great (1891). Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office: Henry VII, A.D. 1485–1509. The Hereford Times. p. 462.
- http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/101587 geograph.org
- http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/636864 geograph.org.uk
- Andrews, Cate (1992) The Rectors of Richards Castle 1549–1892, Richards Castle Local History Group, ISBN 0-9519522-1-8
- Remfry, Paul Martin, (1997) Richard's Castle, 1048 to 1219, Worcester: SCS Publishing, 39 pp, ISBN 1-899376-34-8
- Remfry, Paul Martin, The Nine Castles of Burford Barony, 1048 to 1308, ISBN 1-899376-39-9
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