Longtown Castle

Longtown Castle

Just east of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Longtown Castle still proudly watches over the border between England and Wales.

Not much is left of the castle anymore, but the town it was named after its remains, and the ancient ruins rise high above the homes of those who still live here today.

A fabulous British view

The ruins of Longtown Castle are surrounded by vast, pleasant pastures, and looming in the distance, you’ll even be able to see the great Black Mountains of Wales.

It’s a quintessentially British view that will stick in your mind, and behind everything is a truly sensational history.

A long time ago in Longtown

This castle has existed in some form for over 2,000 years, as the Romans once built a fort here to help them conquer the native Celtic tribes that lived nearby.

As you explore the ruins, you’ll even be able to touch the remains of the same wall that they built around the castle. You'll probably feel a mix of emotions knowing you’re touching the same bricks that were piled up by soldiers of the actual Roman Empire.

But the castle’s current form was built much later under the orders of William the Conqueror. It was one of many fortresses intended to not only secure William’s reign over England, but also to keep an eye on the troublesome parts of Wales that were still unconquered.

The last of the de Lacys

The de Lacy family built, took care of, and paid for the construction of Longtown Castle, and decided to establish a town here. It became known as the Long Town, and thanks to the wealth of men like Gilbert de Lacy it was very wealthy.

While you’re here, try to imagine what Longtown Castle must have looked like in these days: a mighty fortress watching over a bustling settlement full of thatched houses.

By the time of the Black Death in the 14th-century, the de Lacy line was at an end and the impact of the pandemic spelled disaster for Longtown.

Plague and poverty

This place was no longer as wealthy as it had once been, and many of the locals were killed by the terrible disease. Longtown Castle was abandoned and fell into ruin, and what’s left are the beautiful remains you see here today.

Longtown Castle is a stunning place with interesting stories to tell. Housing soldiers from ancient empires, and bearing the scars left by plague and war, it’s a fascinating building that’s well worth a visit.

Longtown Primary School,
Herefordshire,
GB
HR2 0LE

Free parking