Roche Castle

Map Reference: H991119 (2991, 3119)

This large castle is said to have been built in 1236 by Lady Rohesia de Verdun. However the remains appear to be of a later date and were probably built by her son John who died in 1274. The castle was ruinous by 1464 when Richard Bellew obtained a grant to repair it.

The castle sits on top of a rocky outcrop and has a substantial irregular four-sided curtain wall. The twin-towered gatehouse near the S end of the long E wall is protected by a rock-cut ditch.

The towers of the gatehouse are four storeys high, with vaults over the ground floor level. They were originally D-shaped but only the curved outer walls, with attached fragments, remain. The D-shaped flanking tower at the N corner was probably three storeys high.

Just inside the gatehouse, on the left, is the ruin of a large rectangular hall. There are traces of later buildings throughout the ward.

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