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Holme Lacy earthworks

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
manerio de Hamme; Home Lacy

In the civil parish of Holme Lacy.
In the historic county of Herefordshire.
Modern Authority of Herefordshire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Herefordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO567347
Latitude 52.01017° Longitude -2.63034°

Holme Lacy earthworks has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

Description

It has been suggested that the earthworks to the north of St. Cuthbert's Church represent those of 'a motte and bailey castle and later moated platform containing the manor house' (HAN, 70, 3). However, the church is said to occupy the site of an old abbey and it contains some ancient stalls. (Shoesmith)

The hollows in this area appear to be drainage ditches. The land is the flood plain of the River Wye, very flat, and it is doubtful whether a village could have existed here without a great risk of being constantly flooded. (PastScape 110332 undated comment but likely predating the HAN assesment.)
Comments

It should be noted that the risk of constant flooding did not prevent the construction of a church. People have and do live in areas were there is risk of occasional and even regular seasonal flooding particularly if the flooding provides rich agricultural land.
The foundation charter for the abbey of Premonstratensian canons dates from the early years of Henry III although it does not seem the abbey was ever built. The church is recorded in Domesday. This would not exclude the existence of a manor house of any form since manors were the bases of grants to found such houses and this seems to have been a manor of Walter Lacy somehow come into the hands of William fitz Warin (and surplus to his needs). However the earthworks clearly are not significant enough to have caught the attention of earlier writers and surveys and this must make the site somewhat doubtful. That said this would be a typical location for a small motte and later manor and the location in the flood plain of the River Wye is an erosive one suggesting the earthwork were once rather more substantial.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 29/09/2016 06:02:43

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