White Castle is one of three castles, along with Grosmont and Skenfrith, that became part of the aptly named “Three Castles” lordship. This designation came about as part of the Norman conqueror’s attempt to ensure their control of the borderlands between Wales and England, particularly the road to Hereford.
The castle was commissioned initially by William Fitz Osbern, the first Lord of Hereford, when it consisted of earthworks with timber defenses. After the wars with Wales starting in 1135, King Stephen consolidated the control of these three castles into a single lordship and had them rebuilt in stone.
Control of the castle went back and forth between several owners, among them the powerful Burgh and Braose families, depending on the whims of whoever was king at the time. Hubert de Burgh, in particular, fell out with royal authority three times, under two different kings. During his fall from favor, the castle was first given to the Braose family and then to a royal servant named Walerund Teutonicus. It was he who built a new hall, buttery, and pantry at the castle.
Finally, in 1267, Henry III gave the castle to his son, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster (who was also King Edward’s brother). It remained part of the Duchy of Lancaster until 1825.
Today, it is still possible to see the moat, gatehouse, curtain wall with four towers, and the foundations of the hall, living quarters, and chapel.