Longtown is a linear village on the eastern edge of the Black Mountains, within Herefordshire. Close by is the little village of Clodock, sharing a civil parish whose population at the 2001 census was just 474. It sits between the River Monnow and the Olchon Brook, where the former is joined by the Escley Brook and the waters of all three join together at the foot of the village, a point once guarded by a castle whose motte remains by the Olchon bridge.
Longtown is found ten miles north-east of Abergavenny in Monmouthshire and fourteen miles south-west of Hereford. The border with Monmouthshire runs along the ridge of the Black Mountains just a mile and a half west of Longtown, and while the Black Mountains generally form a part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Longtown remains outside.
The parish church is in the neighbouring village of Codock; St Clydog's. The Parish of Clodock and Longtown is in the Diocese of Hereford.
The hamlet of Turnant sits up the hill slope to the west.
Longtown has an early Norman motte and bailey castle, Longtown Castle, and is so named because the settlement today is strung out along the lowland / winter road connecting Hay-on-Wye with the Abergavenny to Hereford road.
Until the Laws in Wales Act of 1536, Longtown was in the marcher lordship of Ewyas, but the Parliament and King Henry VIII, in dissolving these feudal possessions, allocated Longtown to Herefordshire, fixing the boundary between Herefordshire and Monmouthshire along the mountain ridge which towers over the village. The chapelry of Longtown in the ancient parish of Clodock was made into a civil parish in 1866. The parish formed part of the Diocese of St David's until 1852.
Longtown Mountain Rescue based in nearby Abergavenny originated from staff of the Longtown Outdoor Centre in 1965 and are still ready to rescue people in difficulties on the upland ridges or lonely valleys of the Black Mountains in all seasons.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Longtown, Herefordshire)
- Photos of Longtown and surrounding area on geograph
- Castle Wales info on Longtown castle site
- Anglo-Norman Castles
- Old photos of Longtown