We were on a driving experience at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire early last year, and you had a choice of places to take it, but anything ending in Castle was going to be a winner by a mile. Eastnor Castle, although not with out its charms is a mock castle built in 1815, it was also closed on the day we visited. Although our instructor made arrangements for us to drive by, so I could take some photos, a Prince from a faraway country was visiting….. sounds like a fairy tale, castle, prince and the best to come, a ruin. Now I am pretty hooked on castles and ruins, so after husband had had his go, I said I’m not too worried about driving, are there any ruins or churches nearby. Now this does not happen often, but the instructor loved taking photos and loved castles……. well that was it, we were going hunting, much to my husband amazement, well it was my turn to drive, actually I didn’t, I let the instructor drive, but it was my time. I had a choice, there was nice church, but there was a small amount of an old castle to be explored. Castle it was, also this castle was on private land, but as it was on the Eastnor Estate we could go and have a look.
I was pleased we picked the castle, I was out of the car and taking photos, and longed to go over the ivy covered stone bridge and explore, but I was advise it might not be safe enough, so photos had to do. We were looking at the remains of Bronsil Castle, a mid 15th century fortified and double moated manor-house with gatehouse and 4 towers.
Nothing is know of the early history of the site, but it would appear a Sir John Beauchamp owned a house here in the early 15th century. Sir John’s son, Richard, obtained a licence from the King in 1460, which allowed him to enclose 300 hundred acres of parkland and creneliate his residence.
The final days of the castle are not know, but it may have been abandoned by the family in the early 17th century. It is possible it was burnt in the Civil War, but there is no proof to back it up. However it was ruinous by 1731 and could have been burnt. Most of the walls were still standing in 1731, by about 1791 there is mention that only one tower was left. By the mid 19th century most of the of the walls were demolished, more than likely for the nearby house when built. The site then became a Victorian ruin, landscaped and complete with a rustic stone bridge… the one I wanted to cross. The remains of the gatehouse tower collapsed into the moat in 1990, such a shame that it was not stabilised to save what was left. The stone work you can see is part of a staircase of what is left of the gatehouse tower. It was a real trill to visit somewhere I would never normally visit and many thanks to our instructor, who really made my day.