Elmley Castle (castle)

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Elmley Castle
Elmley Castle, Worcestershire
Site of Elmley Castle - geograph.org.uk - 759538.jpg
Earthworks of Elmley Castle
Elmley Castle is located in Worcestershire
Elmley Castle
Elmley Castle
Coordinates52°03′40″N 2°01′55″W / 52.06107°N 2.03204°W / 52.06107; -2.03204Coordinates: 52°03′40″N 2°01′55″W / 52.06107°N 2.03204°W / 52.06107; -2.03204
Grid referencegrid reference SO979403
TypeMotte and bailey
Site information
Open to
the public
ConditionEarthworks only survive
Site history

Elmley Castle, formerly located 1 km south of the village of Elmley Castle in Worcestershire, was a late 11th century earthwork and timber castle which received stone additions in the 12th and possibly 13th centuries.


The ruins of this important Norman and medieval castle are located on the flanks of Bredon Hill, 1 km to the south of the village to which it gives its name. The site is likely to have been an Iron Age camp, close to other Conderton.[1] The castle is supposed to have been built for Robert 'le Despenser' d'Abetot,[2] Steward to William Rufus in the years following the death of William the Conqueror. Robert died childless (c 1098) and his sole heir was his brother Urse d'Abetot. Elmley Castle descended through those heirs to the powerful Beauchamp family with the marriage of Urse's daughter Emmeline d'Abetot, to Walter de Beauchamp, later called Walter of Elmley Castle. It remained the Beauchamp demense until William de Beauchamp inherited the earldom and castle of Warwick from his maternal uncle, William Maudit, 8th Earl of Warwick, in 1268.

Thereafter, Elmley Castle remained a secondary possession of the Earls of Warwick until it was surrendered to the Crown in 1487. In 1528, the castle seems to have been still habitable, for Walter Walshe was then appointed constable and keeper. In 1544, however, prior to its grant by the Crown to Sir William Herbert and Christopher Savage, a survey was made of the manor and castle of Elmley, and it was found that the castle was completely uncovered and in decay. John Leland writing at about this time says, "Ther stondithe now but one Tower, and that partly broken. As I went by I saw Carts carienge Stone thens to amend Persore (Pershore) Bridge about ii miles of. It is set on the Tope of a Hill full of Wood, and a Townelet hard by."

Only earthworks now remain, which are designated as a Scheduled Monument.[3] A medieval deer park surrounding the castle still survives.

See also[edit]


  • Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport (24 May 1951). "Elmley Castle". Historic England. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  • Thomas, Nicholas (2005). Conderton Camp, Worcestershire: A Small Middle Iron Age Hillfort on Bredon Hill. CBA Research Reports. 143 (Illustrated ed.). Council for British Archaeology. ISBN 9781902771502.

  1. ^ Thomas 2005
  2. ^ 'Parishes: Elmley Castle', A History of the County of Worcester: volume 3 (1913), pp. 338-346
  3. ^ Department for Culture, Media and Sport 1951

External links[edit]