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Pictures of Stokesay Castle

a Castle in the town of Stokesay, in the county of Shropshire

About Stokesay Castle

This extremely attractive building is not a castle in the traditional sense, but rather a fortified manor house and as such is one of the earliest of its kind in the country remaining in a remarkable state of preservation.

Stokesay Castle stands in a lovely rural location next to the village church, it is approached through a picturesque black and white gatehouse, with gabled roof and overhanging storey. It was originally built between 1281 and 1291 for Lawrence, a wealthy wool merchant from Ludlow. He built the hall and solar, and the top storey of the north tower, adding the battlemented tower when permission was granted to crenellate by Edward I. The resulting stone buildings make a stark contrast with the gentility of the timber-framed parts of the house.

The only addition since the house was fortified was the Elizabethan gatehouse, built some time between 1570 and 1620. At this time the house was sold to Dame Elizabeth Craven, mother of the Royalist Lord Craven. During the Civil War, Stokesay was unable to withstand continual bombardment, and surrendered to Cromwell's troops in 1645. From then on Stokesay was the subject of fluctuating fortunes, it became the home of the Baldwyn family and was later leased to farmers who used the hall as a coopers' workshop. It was sold by Lord Craven in 1869 to the Allcroft family who set about restoring the house.

After many years of careful restoration Stokesay exudes a timeless quality, with much of interest to see. The upper room has a fine 14th-century fireplace, the solar has excellent oak panelling and a Flemish overmantel of the 17th-century. The south tower, once reached via a drawbridge, is a delightful polygon of three storeys, with a staircase rising within the thickness of the walls, this shows intriguing single lancet windows.

Stokesay Castle remained in the hands of the Allcroft's until the death of Lady Magnus Allcroft in 1992, it is now in the care of English Heritage and is open for public view

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