Stokesay  Castle

The remains of Stokesay Castle lie on the outskirts of Craven Arms, close to the River Onny.
Stokesay Castle is not really a castle - rather, it is a fortified manor house on the site of a Norman stronghold that dates back to 1281. The conversion into a manor house was carried out by a wealthy local merchant, Lawrence of Ludlow, who had made most of his fortune from the wool trade.

The original fortifications included a moat, drawbridge, gatehouse and crenellated walls. These were seen as essential protection for a large house in The Marches, where lawless bands often roamed.

Stokesay Castle never saw action in battle, although it faced a siege during the Civil War of 1642 to 1646. The occupants of the castle were then Royalists, but they handed the building over to a group of Parliamentarians (Roundheads) after the siege in 1645 rather than face attack.

The Parliamentarians ordered that Stokesay be demolished (which was the usual practice and had happened to other small castles in the area to prevent them being used again as strongholds). For some reason the order was never carried out in full, and the demolition was largely confined to the destruction of a crenellated wall.

Subsequently the adjoining Church of St John the Baptist was largely destroyed, and much of the present church building has been rebuilt.

Around 1700 Stokesay Castle became vacant, and remained empty for some 150 years, its buildings used as farm buildings. It changed hands in 1850 and then again in 1869, and was subsequently restored.

The castle is now in the care of English Heritage, and open to visitors from time to time.

stokesay castle
Stokesay Castle
outside view of the solar
Outside view of the solar
Gatehouse - 1
Gatehouse - 2
Courtyard - 1
Courtyard - 2
roof beams
Roof beams in the
great hall
beams inside solar
Beams on the inside of the solar
view from tower window
View from window in the tower
view of church from roof
View from the roof towards the church

Church of St John the Baptist

The church is adjacent to the castle
stokesay church
Church - 1
stokesay church
Church - 2
oldest tombstones
Oldest tombstones on the church wall
view of castle from church
View from the church towards the castle

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