March of Ewyas, The: The story of Longtown Castle and the de Lacy dynasty


Martin Cook & Neil Kidd


The March of Ewyas begins with the story of a community archaeology project that set out to answer the mystery of why a parish on the Welsh border apparently had two castles.

Over a two-year period, a group of volunteers and professional archaeologists excavated at both castle sites. In the process, evidence for a previously undocumented Roman fort was discovered, many of the conclusions reached by previous historians were overturned and fresh conclusions were reached on the early Norman annexation of this part of the Welsh border and the siting of some of the first castles in the Marches.

This book gives a detailed account of the de Lacy dynasty and makes a convincing case for which of them built Longtown Castle, establishing this as one of the earliest round keeps in Britain. It also presents new evidence for Longtown Castle’s active involvement in conflict, and insights into the founding of its borough.

This is a must-have book for anyone with an interest in the archaeology and history of the Welsh border region from earliest times to the medieval period.

After a career in construction project management Martin Cook has been actively involved in a number of archaeology projects. Neil Kidd is a retired academic biologist and life-long enthusiast for history and archaeology.

Part one: The Longtown Castles Project
1 Ponthendre motte and bailey castle today
2 Longtown Castle today
3 Why build a round keep?
4 The excavations
5 Post-excavation analysis and interpretation
Part two: A New History of Ewyas and the de Lacy Dynasty
6 Ewyas in prehistoric times
7 The Roman occupation of the southern Marches
8 Ewyas in the Dark Ages
9 Anglo-Saxons and Vikings in the Welsh borderlands
10 William FitzOsbern and the Norman Conquest
11 Walter de Lacy I and the castles of Ewyas
12 Roger de Lacy – rebel
13 Hugh de Lacy I – a nobleman of noble behaviour
14 Pain, Anarchy and Gilbert de Lacy
15 Hugh de Lacy II– governor of Ireland
16 Walter de Lacy II– last of the dynasty
17 After the de Lacys
18 The borough of Longtown
19 The denouement – who built Longtown Castle?
20 Summing-up

1 A timeline for Ewyas and the de Lacys
2 Were the de Lacy brothers at Hastings?
3 Roger de Lacy’s holdings in Herefordshire
4 The de Lacys in the north of England
Notes and references

Paperback | 272 pages | 242 x 171 mm | December 2020
200 colour illustrations
ISBN 978-1-910839-47-8



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