The white square tower was the original 12th century castle on this site. Richard (Strongbow) de Clare built it. Later extensive additions are in old red sandstone. As with many castles, it was improved to add to its impressive appearance and comfort. Most additions were made in the thirteenth century.
Stables shown below dated from the seventeenth century, and in the civil war, the parliamentarians besieging the castle dug a hole in the outer wall and led the horses away. They then set the stables afire.
Right is a view down the portcullis slot to the flagstones of the entryway.
Below are three windows, the left is very early design, the centre shows chevrons on the stonework and the righthand was originally a door at first floor level when the keep was the only part built and it had a wooden stair, which could be removed if necessary. Under that one can see the lower part used to be below ground level, as the stonework is not dressed.
The best of many castles in the Wye Valley
The moat was always dry and the stables were outside the curtain walls at the back of the castle on this same level. Apart from the Civil war, it had a largely peaceful existence. Its major damage came from mortar fire in 1646 when the parliamentarians besieged it for two months. Roaring Meg (below) fired iron balls filled with explosive, which exploded after they landed.