An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1934.

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'Stapleton', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West, (London, 1934) pp. 182-183. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)V, S.E., (b)X, S.E.)

Stapleton is a small parish on the W. border of the county, 6 m. N.N.E. of Kington. Stapleton Castle and Carters Croft are the principal monuments.


a(1). Stapleton Castle (Plate 5, and Plan, p. xxix), ruins and earthworks, stands in the middle of the parish. The Ruins are those of a stone-built house of two storeys, with some brickwork in the arches. The castle belonged to the family of Say in the 13th century and passed from them to the Mortimers of Richard's Castle, the Cornwalls, and finally, in 1706, to the Harley family. The castle is said to have been "defaced" by Sir Michael Woodhouse in 1645. There is no evidence of an earlier date than the beginning of the 17th century in the existing remains, which are those of a long rectangular house, probably with two cross-wings, short of the ends of the main building and forming a double-cross plan. The whole of the N. end and the W. projection of the N. cross-wing have entirely disappeared. The walls have a plinth and a string-course between the storeys. The openings have lost their frames and mullions except for one window on the W. side, which is of two transomed lights with moulded wooden frame and mullion. Most of the window openings on the E. front have segmental brick arches which would appear to be work of the 18th century.

The castle occupies the summit of a hill which seems to have been cut and scarped to form a motte and bailey earthwork. The motte occupied the southern and higher end, and there are traces of a ditch cut in the hillside on its E. and W. sides; to the N., some 8 ft. below the level of the motte, is a bailey with traces of an entrance and a slight ditch at the N. end. The rest of the hill-top to the N. may have formed an outer enclosure, and a sunk trackway approaches the E. side of the bailey. The motte has been much altered and no doubt flattened when the existing house was built and a retaining wall built round its southern end.

Condition—Of house, ruined.

b(2). Lugg Bridge, ¾ m. S.S.E. of the Castle, crosses the river Lugg which here forms the county boundary. It is of rubble and of three spans with segmental arches and cutwaters both up and down stream supporting refuges. The bridge is probably of 17th-century date.


a(3). Carter's Croft, cottage, at the road-fork, 300 yards E. of the castle, is of one storey with attics, timber-framed, and with stone and slate-covered roofs. It was built in the 13th or 14th century and forms a rectangular building of four bays with crutch-trusses and a continuous original roof. The two middle bays perhaps formed the hall. The upper floor was inserted in the three E. bays in the 17th century when the large central chimney-stack was also inserted. Little of the original framing is exposed on the outside, but in the second bay from the E. in the S. wall is a blocked original doorway with a plain pointed head formed of heavy timbers. Inside the building, the W. bay retains the original ceiling-beams, but elsewhere they are 17th-century insertions. Parts of the three main crutchtrusses are visible.

Condition—Fairly good.

Monuments (4–10)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are covered with stone slates, tiles or slates. Many of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

a(4). Yew Tree Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 220 yards E. of the Castle, has exposed timber-framing.

a(5). Cottage, two tenements, on the E. side of the road, 30 yards N.E. of (4), was built early in the 18th century and has stone walls. On the central chimney-stack is a stone with the initials and date P.R. 17(?)10.

a(6). Ford Cottage, 20 yards N. of (5), has exposed timber-framing and a weather-boarded outbuilding extending to the E.

a(7). Castle Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 100 yards E.S.E. of the Castle, is partly of stone and has been much altered and enlarged.

a(8). Bank Cottage, two tenements, on the N. side of the road, 300 yards W.S.W. of the Castle. It was built probably early in the 18th century, and the walls are of stone.

a(9). Brook House, on the N.W. side of the road, 250 yards N. of the castle, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. Inside the building is a small wooden panel with the initials and date W.C., 1701.

b(10). Middle Moor, house and barn, 1,150 yards S.S.E. of the castle. The House was completely remodelled and enlarged in 1902. The Barn, S.E. of the house, is of six bays, with weather-boarded walls and a roof of king-post type.