Elmley Castle (castle)
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|Elmley Castle, Worcestershire|
Earthworks of Elmley Castle
|Grid reference||grid reference|
|Type||Motte and bailey|
|Condition||Earthworks only survive|
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 castle is supposed to have been built for Robert 'le Despenser' d'Abetot, 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."
- Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
- 'Parishes: Elmley Castle', A History of the County of Worcester: volume 3 (1913), pp. 338-346
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