Caldicott Castle

Caldicott Castle, Monmouthshire


Caldicot 5 miles South West of Chepstow


Off M4 (J22)


NP26 4HU

Caldicot stands on a fortified site two miles from the sea and on the route of the Roman road Via Julia. The keep was built by Humphrey de Bohun after he inherited the lordship in 1221. The curtain wall came next, though it was not until the 14th century that the great Gatehouse was built for Thomas Woodcock, son of Edward III, who married Eleanor de Bohun and proceeded to lavish money on the castle in the 1380's.

~ History ~

1086 - Early Norman invaders to south Wales quickly recognise, as did the Romans before them, the importance of the site at Caldicot overlooking the Bristol Channel, essential to shipping, transport of supplies and crossing to England. They build a timber motte castle with two baileys, surrounded with a deep ditch to control the surrounding area.

1221 - Humphrey de Bohun, the 'Good Earl' of Hereford, inherits Caldicot and wastes no time in erecting a round stone keep.

1340's - Building of the Great Hall is undertaken.

1373 - The last male de Bohun dies and the castle passes to two daughters, Eleanor and Mary. Mary de Bohun marries Edward III's grandson, the future Henry IV, and Eleanor weds Thomas de Woodstock, son of King Edward III and Duke of Gloucester, into whose royal hands Caldicot passes.

1380 - Woodstock begins an extensive and costly building program which includes the three-storied Woodstock Tower and postern Gate, in which he carves his and his wife's name (Alianore), into the masonry.

1397 - Whilst in Calais Woodstock is smothered and the castle passes to his daughter Anne, who later marries Edmund, Earl of Stratford, and it is their son, Humphrey, who retains control of the castle and becomes the first Duke of Buckingham, until his death during the Wars of the Roses which sees Caldicot pass to the Crown.

1521 - Edward, the third duke of Stafford and keeper of Caldicot, gains the mistrust of Henry VIII and is beheaded for suspicion of treason. Caldicot once more becomes the property of the Crown, until it is later granted to the Duke of Lancaster, who allows the site to be leased by several tenants until the mid-1800's.