Eastnor Castle

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Eastnor Castle
Eastnor Castle-geograph-3082480-by-Philip-Pankhurst.jpg
TypeMock castle
LocationEastnor, Herefordshire
Coordinates52°01′47″N 2°23′16″W / 52.0297°N 2.3877°W / 52.0297; -2.3877Coordinates: 52°01′47″N 2°23′16″W / 52.0297°N 2.3877°W / 52.0297; -2.3877
ArchitectRobert Smirke
Architectural style(s)Gothic Revival
Governing bodyPrivately owned
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameEastnor Castle
Designated18 November 1952
Reference no.1156712
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameCastle lodge and gates
Designated10 January 1986
Reference no.1156692
Listed Building – Grade II
Official namePortcullis lodge and retaining walls to the forecourt of Eastnor Castle
Designated10 January 1986
Reference no.1082629
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameRetaining wall to Lower Terrace on garden front of Eastnor Castle
Designated10 January 1986
Reference no.1082630
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameRetaining wall to Upper Terrace on garden front of Eastnor Castle
Designated10 January 1986
Reference no.1349512
Eastnor Castle is located in Herefordshire
Eastnor Castle
Location of Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire

Eastnor Castle, Eastnor, Herefordshire, is a 19th-century mock castle. Eastnor was built for The 1st Earl Somers, who employed Robert Smirke, who was later to work at the British Museum, as his architect. The castle was built between 1811–1820. Major schemes of interior decoration were carried out by A.W.N. Pugin in 1849–1850. Eastnor remains a private home, and is currently the residence of James Hervey-Bathurst, the grandson of The 6th Baron Somers. The castle is a Grade I listed building.


The estate was established in the late 16th century when the Cocks family purchased land in the area. Subsequent marriages into the Somers and Nash families helped provide the wealth and substance necessary to build the present imposing building, designed to look like one of the medieval castles guarding the Welsh borders.

The castle was built to the designs of Robert Smirke in 1812–20. A.W.N. Pugin made some internal alterations - including the decoration of the Gothic Drawing Room - in 1849–50, and George E Fox made more changes in the 1860s. It is constructed of ashlar stonework, with a lead and slate roof concealed behind an embattled parapet. Cast-iron was used for the roof trusses and floor beams.[1] It was constructed at a cost of £85,000,[2] the equivalent of approximately £26 million to £28 million at 2007 prices.

The castle was criticised by Charles Locke Eastlake later in the 19th century:

It is a massive and gloomy-looking building, flanked by watch-towers, and enclosing a keep. To preserve the character at which it aimed, the windows were made exceedingly small and narrow. This must have resulted in much inconvenience within...The building in question might have made a tolerable fort before the invention of gunpowder, but as a residence it was a picturesque mistake.[3]

Media appearances and events[edit]

Front entrance of Eastnor Castle in 1992

The car manufacturer, Land Rover, uses the Eastnor estate as a vehicle test track and experience site.[4] The castle has been used as a set location for films, television programmes and music videos including; One More Time, starring Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis, Jr, Slade's video "Run Runaway", the 1986 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost,[5] the BBC TV adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy in 1995, the American reality competition television program, The Amazing Race,[6] ITV's 2015 adaptation of Doctor Thorne,[7] and two episodes of HBO's Succession.[8] Details of the castle's construction were revealed in episode 6 of the 2004 BBC TV series Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain.


  1. ^ Historic England. "Eastnor Castle  (Grade I) (1156712)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  2. ^ Brooks & Pevsner 2012, pp. 219-221.
  3. ^ Eastlake 2012, p. 79.
  4. ^ "Land Rover Experience". Land Rover. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  5. ^ "The Canterville Ghost (TV 1987)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  6. ^ ""Amazing Race:" 11 Teams Storm Castle Battlements". CBS News. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Doctor Thorne: Visit the real Greshamsbury Park - West Wycombe House in Buckinghamshire". Radio Times.
  8. ^ "When Succession Filmed at Eastnor Castle". Eastnor Castle. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2020.


External links[edit]