Elmley Castle is just about the only earthwork Castle in Worcestershire worth a visit. It is impressively situated on high ground above the village which shares its name and was once the site of a fairly large stone Castle.
The first Castle was constructed soon after 1086 by Robert d'Abitot. He died childless and the Castle passed to his brother setting a disturbing tendency for the Castle to pass through sidelines of the family. This son, Urso, had a son called Roger who was disinherited for slaying a Royal messenger and the Castle passed to Urso's daughter, Emmeline and thus to the de Beauchamp family who strengthened the Castle during the Anarchy. The de Beauchamps owned the Castle for a few decades and it was most likely them who built a stone Castle to the usual keep and curtain plan.
The de Beauchamps lost the Castle in 1269 via their heiress Isabel who married into the family of the Earl of Warwick. At that point Elmley was the most important Castle in Worcestershire, but the Earls had a much more comfortable and accessible Castle at Warwick and Elmley fell into decline.
In 1540 one report states that the Castle is "uncovered and in decay" and Leland in the same year describes only one tower left standing.
The Castle is built in one corner of an Iron Age Hill Fort and the combination of earthworks is quite impressive and both stand on high ground with some superb views. The Castle is on public land.
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