The Castle site is situated on a spur of high ground overlooking the River Dore,
near the head of the Golden Valley.
When my wife and I first stood here, we fell in love with it. Was it just a romantic notion?
Possibly, but we did feel we had known this place all our lives and wanted to turn the clock back by rebuilding the castle to its former glory.
Soon after the Battle of Hastings the Norman knight, Hugh l’Asne, was granted this land and built a motte and bailey castle. It is believed he came from L’Asne, a small village in Brittany. He was a close associate of William fitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford. Hugh had a daughter who became a nun at
the Abbey of St. Mary at Winchester.
Circa 1195, the castle was in the hands of the Crown but by about 1197 it is
recorded as being restored to Robert de Chandos.
It is thought most of the rebuilding in stone would have been done from 1200 to 1230, including a elongated polygonal shell keep on the motte, a stone curtain wall and other fortifications of an unknown nature.
Sir John Chandon a close friend of Edward the ‘Black Prince’’, was ordered, in 1403, to fortify his castle at Snodhill against Owain Glendwr and his Welsh raiders. Sir John probably added the circular ‘drum’ towers and reinforced the curtain wall at this time.
By 1540, John Leland (Leyland) King Henry VIII’s Antiquarian descibed the castle as in a ruinous state.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the manor and castle were given to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester who sold it to the Vaughn family. When they sold it to Thomas Prosser of London, it was still in a ruinous state so Prosser moved to a nearby house known as The Court.
During the Civil War the castle was severely damaged in 1645 by the Scottish Army, but its final demise was in 1665 when William Prosser quarried the castle for materials to rebuild his home which he probably renamed, Snodhill Court.
The ruins stand on public land.
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