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Yours for $1 million: 1960s bungalow with remains of a rare 970-year-old motte & bailey castle

Ian Harvey

Who wouldn’t want to live in a castle? Everyone has thought about it at some point or another.  Castles immediately come with the thought of riches and being waited on hand and foot since they were homes to many rich and important people.

Now is your chance to own an ancient castle and home.  Back in the 1960s, a bungalow had been built next to the remains of a 970-year-old motte and bailey castle in Herefordshire.

The entire grounds, castle included, has now gone up on the market for only 680,000 pounds. All images and listed on Sunderlands & Thompsons estate agents.

The historic remains of Ewyas Harold Castle with Anglo -Saxon motte and bailey.
The historic remains of Ewyas Harold Castle with Anglo -Saxon motte and bailey.

Need more convincing to purchase this home and castle? The Ewyas Harold Castle, as it’s called, was only one of three castles that had been built before the Norman Conquest in 1066.  It had been built by the Norman mercenaries who had been working for the Anglo-Saxon kings.  These people had been trying to subdue the Welsh during the 11th Century.  In fact, this particular castle has featured on many different TV shows.

The bungalow itself has five bedrooms and 21 acres of land as well as what is left of the ancient castle.

Many historians and community members believe that the motte design had come to England when the Normans took over in 1066, however, the castle had been built before that, even.

It is believed that the castle had been built around 1046 to 1048 by Osbern Pentecost.  He had been a Norman knight who followed Edward the Confessor to England after he returned from exile in Normandy in 1041.

About 14 years ago, Peter Woodward and his wife Margaret had bought the land.  However, the castle was a bit of a surprise to them.  The land had been overgrown with trees for decades, making the castle even less known.

Since the surprise of the castle, Tony Robinson had made a movie about King Harold back in 2002.  Dan Snow also featured the castle in his 2013 series about the Norman Castle Walks.

After discovering the castle, the Woodwards had wanted to learn more about the history of the castle and how it came to be built on their land.  Since then, several archaeologists and teams have been out there working on the motte to see if they could find any more information on the castle.

This sale offers a rare and unique opportunity to acquire a special piece of history.
This sale offers a rare and unique opportunity to acquire a special piece of history.

Now that the history has been revealed about the castle, the couple gets many historians coming up to their door to take a look at the historic site.

Since buying the house, they have constantly been updating the home for over 14 years.

As stated above, the house had originally been built in the 1960s.  There was a dairy farm on the land during the time.  All the home had was a sitting room, kitchen and dining room, sun room, utility room, five beds, two baths and two loft storage rooms.

The house actually sits in a wonderful position on the land.  It sits about the Monnow Valley.  In fact, the castle had been built in that particular area to defend the enemy towards Monmouth.  It even has some wonderful views from the top.

The entire property has 21 acres of gardens, pastures, and woodland.  There are steps that lead up to a large, upper garden with box hedging.  There is even a cultivated area next to the garden with a tunnel, brick potting shed, and a barn.

Woodward said that they hadn’t any idea about the motte and castle when they moved in considering it was covered with trees.  That is when Tony Robinson called and asked if they could film on the land about King Harold.

Woodward explained that it was then he and his wife became interested in the local history on their land. He said they started up the history society as well as investigations on the land.

The men who built the castle were looking to control the Welsh borders.  Woodward said that the men must have had some great technology in order to build this type of castle.

The building lasted well into the 1400s which is quite late for this kind of building. However, after the 1500s, people began to steal the stone from the castle to build houses in the village.  That is why now, there is merely a mound left of the castle.

Track to the house: The property is listed for sale with estate agents Sunderlands & Thompsons
Track to the house: The property is listed for sale with estate agents Sunderlands & Thompsons

The Woodwards also found out that the motte had been one of the bigger ones built in the country.  The soldiers had originally founded an existing one and dug into that to build on.

The couple had a survey done, leading to the discovery of the pattern of the castle.  They also found the footprint of about 10 to 20 houses where the knights once lived.  In total, the area used to house about 100 soldiers.

Read another story like this from us :Anglo-Saxon castle goes on sale in Herefordshire

Although the couple loves the area and the history about the place, they are slowly aging, and it seems to be harder to care for.  They are sad to sell the property, but they hope that someone with as much historical passion will purchase the wonderful home and land.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News