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User / Baz Richardson (away until 9 Oct) / Stokesay Castle, Shropshire
Baz Richardson / 10,779 items
We've just returned from a very pleasant four-day trip to Shropshire, during which we paid a visit to Stokesay Castle, which is a few miles north of Ludlow.

This fortified manor house was built in the late 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow, then the leading wool merchant in England, who intended it to form a secure residence and generate income as a commercial estate. Laurence's descendants continued to own the castle until the 16th century, when it passed through various private owners. By the time of the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1641, Stokesay was owned by William Craven, the first Earl of Craven and a supporter of King Charles I. After the Royalist war effort collapsed in 1645, Parliamentary forces besieged the castle in June and quickly forced its garrison to surrender. Parliament ordered the property to be slighted, but only minor damage was done to the walls, allowing Stokesay to continue to be used as a house by the Baldwyn family until the end of the 17th century.

Architecturally, Stokesay Castle is "one of the best-preserved medieval fortified manor houses in England", according to historian Henry Summerson. The castle comprises a walled, moated enclosure, with an entrance way through a 17th-century timber and plaster gatehouse. Inside, the courtyard faces a stone hall and solar block, protected by two stone towers. The hall features a 13th-century wooden-beamed ceiling, and 17th-century carved figures ornament the gatehouse and the solar. The castle was never intended to be a serious military fortification, but its style was intended to echo the much larger castles being built by Edward I in North Wales. The castle has changed very little since the 13th century, and is a rare surviving example of a near complete set of medieval buildings.
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  • Taken: Nov 2, 2016
  • Uploaded: Nov 2, 2016
  • Updated: Jan 6, 2019