Leysters Castle, which is also known as Laysters, was an earth and timber ringwork fortification raised at some point between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. There is no evidence to suggest it was ever rebuilt in stone and was probably only occupied for a short period.



Leysters Castle (also known as Laysters) is a former earth and timber fortification in Herefordshire. At the time of the Domesday survey of 1086 it was held by Bernard, an individual with numerous estates across Herefordshire, but it is unknown if it was he who initially raised it and, with the volatility of the border region, the fortification could have been built at any time between the late eleventh to mid-thirteenth centuries. The adjacent church of St Andrews has fabric dating from the twelfth century and it seems possible that it was contemporary with the castle. A deserted medieval village lies to the east of the castle although whether this pre or post-dated the fortification is not yet known.


The remains of the castle visible today suggest it was a low lying motte but it is more likely that it was originally a ringwork that has subsequently become infilled. Whichever is the case, it was 27 metres in diameter and was surrounded by a ditch. Although a relatively small site, the earthwork would have enclosed the main residential and administrative buildings although there must have been other structures, such as stables and farm buildings, external to the defences. There is no evidence of a bailey although one may have existed to the south.





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

Historic England (1966). Castle mound, List entry 1005372. Historic England, London.

HMSO (1932). An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2, East. HMSO, London.

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

Pettifer, A (1995). English Castles, A guide by counties. Boydell Press, Woodbridge.

Salter, M (2000). Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Folly Publications, Malvern.

Shoesmith, R (2009). Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire. Logaston Press.

Stirling-Brown, R (1989). Herefordshire Castles.

What's There?

Leysters Castle consists of the earthwork remains of a motte or ringwork fortification. St Andrews Church is adjacent, parts of which date from the twelfth century.

Leysters Castle. Also known as Laysters Castle, the fortification was probably originally a ringwork. Although roughly cut stone has been found on the site, it is unlikely the castle was occupied for long and probably never evolved beyond timber defences.

St Andrews Church. Parts of the adjacent church date from the twelfth century.

Getting There

Leysters Castle is found a short way off the A4112 between Kimbolton and Tenbury Wells. Take the turning right (south) at the crosswords after the Duke of York public house on to an unnamed road. After 300 metres take the turning left which is sign-posted to 'Leysters Church'. There is a car park at St Andrews church and the castle site is accessed through its grounds.

 Car Park


52.266332N 2.634142W

Leysters Castle

No Postcode

52.265333N 2.634015W