The Castle Hotel stands on land which in Saxon times was owned by Egwin Shakehead – who got his name from the violent tremors induced by Palsy. When he was miraculously cured of this disease in around 780, Egwin expressed his gratitude by giving this land to the Bishops of Hereford in perpetuity.
Twenty years after the Norman Conquest in 1066 the then Bishop of Hereford built a castle here to defend the church and village from the threat of the marauding Welsh. As peace later came to the Welsh Marches, Bishop’s Castle became one of the notorious electorally corrupt ‘rotten boroughs’ as satirised in the television series Blackadder where the sitting member for a rotten borough was ‘a Dachshund called Colin’. (By coincidence a Dachshund still lives at the hotel!)
In the early 18th century The Castle began to deteriorate and in 1719 The Castle Hotel was constructed from the castle ruins on part of the site of the original Castle, by order of James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, a local landowner and a man of vast wealth.
The 1st Duke of Candos sold The Castle Hotel to John Walcot who in turn sold it to Robert Clive (1725 – 1774), known more famously as “Clive of India”, founder of the British Empire in India. Clive later sold The Castle Hotel onto his son Edward, who changed the family name to Herbert, his mother’s maiden name, and took his father’s subsidiary title of Earl of Powis.
So there have been people living and working on the site of the hotel for over a 1000 years, and we hope to continue to add to that illustrious history in the future!
For more information on the history and heritage of Bishop’s Castle we have a very active and respected Bishop’s Castle Heritage Resource Centre. A local heritage store and activity centre celebrating local history and keeping it within the community for people to use and enjoy. For more information please click here.