Wigmore Castle

Wigmore Castle is a medieval fortress located in the March in northwest Herefordshire. It was built initially after the Norman conquest of England by the first earl of Hereford, William FitzOsbern, who also built Chepstow Castle. Fitz Osbern rebelled against William the Conqueror in 1075, however, in what has been called the ‘Revolt of the Earls’, prompted by William’s refusal to allow the marriage of Fitz Osbern’s daughter to the Earl of East Anglia. At their subsequent defeat, and FitzOsbern’s death, King William seized Wigmore and gave it to one of his faithful followers, Ranulph de Mortimer, and from then on it was the seat of the Mortimer earldom in the March. The castle has gone through many reconstructions over the centuries, most of which took place in the 12th-14th centuries, before the decline of the Mortimers after the execution Read more…

The Mortimers

The Mortimers were a powerful Marcher family that begin with Ranulf, who became lord of Wigmore after 1075.  He was Norman, naturally, and was the Seigneur of St. Victor-en-Caux in Normandy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralf_de_Mortimer Once in England, however, the family rose to power and as far as I can tell, did everything in their power to hold onto it, regardless of how many times they switched allegiances between the English crown, the Welsh crown, and outright rebellion. “In historical terms we can go back to the Domesday Book for the first clear reference to Wigmore Castle. The relevant entry read “Ralph de Mortimer holds Wigmore Castle”, but he was not the nobleman to whom we can attribute the building of the stronghold. That honor goes to William Fitzosbern, but this Norman, one of the Conqueror’s captains, incurred William’s wrath in 1075 with an act of treachery and he Read more…