Dans Le Parc Du Chateau Noir

Posted on 21st September 2008

Today DanDan and I went to visit Ludlow Castle for the day. It was a nice sunny day and we had a great time walking round, and there'll be photos of that later. However, afterwards, seeing as it was only a few miles from Ludlow, we headed off to find the ruins of Richard's Castle. It proved rather tricky, and had I done my homework better beforehand we might have been a bit more successful. Our first hitch was getting confused by the two Richards Castle village within a short distance of each other, one in Shropshire the other in Hereford. The one in Hereford is where the ruins are. All I knew was that the ruins were near St Bartholomew's Church.

Heading towards the Hereford village, having just gone through the Shropshire one, I spotted a small signpost heading off down a one-track road. After about a mile we saw a church, and then a hand painted sign saying "TO THE CASTLE AND CHURCH". Great, we found it ... or so we thought. We walked up to the church, and indeed it was St Bartholomew's. But we couldn't spot any earthworks or walls as I'd seen one website. There was a large sign showing how the castle had once looked and the history of it, but no further signs as to where any of the actual castle stood. We walked around the church and apart from the gravestones, drew a blank. We ended up heading back and never got to see the parts of the castle that are still visible. It was only after getting home and reading several other pages on the internet, that I suddenly discovered that we had to follow the path down through the lower cemetary into the woods. We were in spitting distance of the wall ... just the wrong side to be able to see it!

The moral of this story is that if you are planning to visit somewhere that is likely to be well hidden, get as much background as possible. It would have been nice for someone to have added another sign from the church pointing us in the right direction, but at least we know next time we go. Seeing as it's only 30 miles away, it isn't that far. For anyone finding this post who is planning to find the place as well, here are some help hints, so you don't miss out like we did. Here is a map link you might want to open in another browser window first. The church should be in the centre of the map, with a square tower (the bell tower) to the right. On the left, to the upper left and lower left you will see gravestones. Between the gravestones in the lower left part of the cemetary is a path. Walk along this to the woods. Look to your right and the wall should be there.

Further links for the castle history itself are on the Castle Wales site and the Hereford Council site. Even if you don't find it, there are some lovely views along the way. We had a nice drive anyway, and it was still a lovely day out. More on the rest of our adventures later :)

File Under: castles / sightseeing

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