GREAT HOWLE CASTLE

Great Howle Castle, also referred to as Great Howle Camp, is a rectangular earthwork which is believed to be a Norman era fortification. Built upon high ground which stands over 200 metres above sea level, it possibly served as an observation tower for nearby Goodrich Castle. Alternatively it may have been a fortified farmstead.

History

 

Great Howle Camp is an earthwork fortification near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire. Little is known about the site but the remains suggest it was probably an earth and timber ringwork castle and was possibly an outpost associated with Goodrich Castle which is located two miles to the west. Whilst that fortification dominated a key nodal point overlooking the banks of the River Wye, Great Howle occupied a remote location with little strategic value. However, it was situated on high ground almost 200 metres above sea level and had superb views of the surrounding area suggesting it may have been a watchtower. However, this is not certain and the site may simply have been a fortified farmstead of a similar vintage.

 

The earthwork consists of a rectangular enclosure with rounded corners approximately 38 metres wide and 50 metres long. The rampart is continuous with no breaks or any entrance visible. There is no evidence of any internal buildings suggesting they were timber framed constructions. Likewise any structures that existed outside the enclosure have been destroyed due to subsequent ploughing.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Allcroft, A.H (1908). Earthworks of England. London.

Historic England (1979). Great Howle Camp, List entry 1001745. Historic England, London.

King, C.D.J (1983). Castellarium anglicanum: an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands.  Kraus International Publications.

Salter, M (2001). The Castles and Moated Mansions of Herefordshire and Worcester. Folly Publications, Malvern.

What's There?

Great Howle Castle consists of the earthworks of a fortified enclosure. The rampart and surrounding ditch are visible but are heavily overgrown. A public right of way runs directly adjacent to the site.

Great Howle Camp. The earthwork rampart is still clearly visible despite the site being overgrown.

View. The site offers views over the surrounding area which means it could have been a watchtower.

Getting There

Great Howle Castle is found off Star Beech Hill just over two miles south-east of Ross-on-Wye. The site is not sign-posted. On road car parking is possible in direct proximity to the right of way leading to the castle site.

Car Parking Option

Star Beech Hill, HR9 5SL

51.878366N 2.567421W

Great Howle Castle

No Postcode

51.879205N 2.565882W