The village of Richards Castle is on the B4361, 4 miles south of Ludlow.
To find the castle, turn right at the pub and follow the lane uphill for about half a mile. The old redundant church and the castle are near the top of this lane where it swings right.
SO 484703

Article by Paul Remfry
For a very full treatment of the history of Richards Castle visit

Photo: Andrew Tivenan

Richards Castle barony, otherwise known as the honour Burford, is not a normal barony in any respect. It is one of the few Norman baronies in England that can be postulated by implication and documentation as pre-Conquest creations. In 1197 Margaret Say (dc1242), the heiress of Richards Castle, married Hugh Ferrers (d1204) and took the barony of Burford to him in marriage. Hugh was the son of Walkelin Ferrers of Oakham in Rutland (d1201) and his sister Isabella (d1253) was married to Margaret Say's neighbour, Roger Mortimer of Wigmore (d1214). However his career as lord of Burford proved short-lived and he died probably in 1204, leaving Margaret as the widowed baroness of Richards Castle and Burford. Any such independence she did have was soon removed when King John granted her lands to the custody of Thomas Galway, Earl of Athol (d1231), a commission he held until 30 June 1207 when John ordered Thomas to surrender the castles of Stapleton and Richards Castle back to the hands of royal bailiffs. Thomas was later disgraced and in June 1211 Robert Mortimer of Essex (d<3.7.1219) married the widowed Margaret Say and consequently brought Richards Castle into the ambit of the Mortimers until 1304.

Photo: Andrew Tivenan

The last Hugh Mortimer of Richards Castle (d1304) was eventually succeeded by two co-heiresses, one of whom was Joan Mortimer. She married for her second husband Sir Richard Talbot who lived at Richards Castle until his death before 29 June 1376. Joan's younger sister married into the Cornwall family who were descendants on the female side of the last Brian Brampton of Brampton Bryan (d1294).

Richards Castle is currently regarded as the oldest castle in England. It consists of a motte capped by the ruins of an octagonal tower keep. This is protected by a bailey which was walled in stone and contained D-shaped and rectangular towers, one of which was an early gatehouse.