Saturday, 10 January 2009

Stokesay castle

View of Stokesay Castle showing, from left, South Tower Grerat Hall and North Tower.

Stokesay Castle is a personal favourite of mine; I was taken there several times as a child and always thought the only thing missing from the scene were the knights-in-armour and the scurvy naves.

Stokesay Castle is, technically speaking, a fortified manor house, completed around 1291 by Lawrence of Ludlow to protect himself from Welsh raiders. The castle has changed very little since. Lawrence was a rich wool merchant and was given 'licence to crenellate' from Edward I.

The impressive stone built south tower dominates the site and is the main defensive feature. It inhabitants now consists of various species of bat

The north tower is built on a more human scale with it overhanging upper rooms.

Sandwiched between to the two is the great hall with its timber roof and original tiled roof.

The distinctive timber framed gatehouse dates from 1640.

A skirmish took place at the castle during the English Civil War and after a short siege the Parliamentarians took control. Fortunately the only slighting, if that was the case at all, appears to be the reduction of the curtain wall.

Stokesay is situated just outside Craven Arms in South Shropshire, England.


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