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EWYAS LACY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  EWIAS LACEY
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The medieval borough of Ewias Lacy. The Domesday book records a small itinerant population at Roger de Lacy's lands in Ewias, but it was not until after the construction of the castle that a new borough was founded. Exactly when is not known, but a documentary source from 1232 first mentions it as 'Nova Villa in Ewias Lacy'. Although the intention was probably to establish a market and finances for the castle, there is likely to have been competition with the existing centre at Clodock. In circa 1234 a burgage is first mentioned at the new town, and by 1310 the town was said to have 100 burgesses (possibly a nominal amount for the borough). Accounts survive for various years between 1492 and 1504, although it did not function as a market centre by 1500. In 1540 a reference to 'Longa Villa in Ewias Lacy' indicates the settlement spread out for some distance along the road, and after this it became known as 'Longtown'.

Earthworks can be seen in many parts of the village and surrounding fields. Adjoining the south of the castle is an earthwork enclosure believed to be the defensive enclosure around the medieval borough. It contains the core area of the medieval town, now largely covered by later houses and gardens. The church occupies a raised area outside the old entrance to the castle and at the head of the former market place to the south. Earthworks to the north of the castle may represent an enclosure similar to that to the south. Excavations in the area have recovered 12th and 13th century pottery and structural remains. To the north-east and south of the castle further earthworks represent tenement strips, house platforms, and possible crofts, believed to be medieval in date due to the regular lay out consistent with a planned town. Further south lie yet more enclosures and ridge and furrow earthworks. It is clear from earthwork and geophysical surveys that the entire castle and borough complex was superimposed on an earlier layout of pre-medieval fields.

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