Shrewsbury Castle
Shrewsbury Castle is a red sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 in Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

, Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It stands on a hill in the neck of the meander of the River Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

 on which the town originally developed. The castle is situated directly above Shrewsbury railway station
Shrewsbury railway station
Shrewsbury railway station is the railway station serving Shrewsbury, county town of Shropshire, England. It is the only remaining railway station in the town; Shrewsbury Abbey, as well as other small stations around the town, having long closed. The station was built in 1848 and has been extended...



It was built as a defensive fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 for the town, which was otherwise protected by the river. Town walls, of which little now remains, then radiated out from the castle and surrounded the town (although the area known now as Town Walls still has a small section of it and a tower known as Town Walls Tower
Town Walls Tower
Town Walls Tower is a building in the care of the National Trust in the county town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England in the United Kingdom.- History :...

 and in the care of the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...


In 1138, King Stephen
Stephen of England
Stephen , often referred to as Stephen of Blois , was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne by right of his wife. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda...

 successfully besieged the castle held by William FitzAlan for the Empress Maud during the period known as The Anarchy
The Anarchy
The Anarchy or The Nineteen-Year Winter was a period of English history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterised by civil war and unsettled government...

. The castle was also briefly held by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

, in 1215. Little of this original physical structure remains.


The Shropshire Horticultural Society bought the castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 and gave it to the town in 1924. Until 1981, borough council meetings, where the full council would be present, used the castle's hall. Meetings later moved to Oakley Manor in Belle Vue, and then to the Guildhall in Frankwell
Frankwell is a district of the town of Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, England. It lies adjacent to the River Severn, to the northwest of the town centre, and is one of Shrewsbury's oldest suburbs....


The castle is currently owned by Shropshire Council
Shropshire Council
Shropshire Council is a unitary authority in Shropshire, United Kingdom.It replaced the former two-tier local government structure in the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire on 1 April 2009, which involved its immediate predecessor, Shropshire County Council, and five non-metropolitan districts -...

. The castle is currently undergoing some restoration, which is needed as the sandstone building material is soft and quickly erodes.

Shropshire Regimental Museum

Since 1985, the castle has housed the Shropshire Regimental Museum, with artefacts from the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. The museum combines the collections of the 53rd, the 85th, the KSLI to 1968, the local Militia, Rifle Volunteers and Territorials, as well as those of other county regiments - the Shropshire Yeomanry
Shropshire Yeomanry
The Shropshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1795, which served as a cavalry and dismounted infantry regiment in the First World War and as a cavalry and an artillery regiment in the Second World War, before being amalgamated with the Shropshire Royal Horse...

 and the Shropshire Artillery Volunteers and the Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery. The museum was attacked by the IRA on 25 August 1992 and extensive damage to the collection and to some of the Castle resulted. It re-opened in 1995.


Laura's Tower overlooks the surrounding townscape and further out to the countryside. Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

s have taken place here and the castle grounds are used sometimes for plays
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

, which have included the Canterbury Tales, among others.

See also

  • History of Shrewsbury
    History of Shrewsbury
    The town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire, England, has a history that extends back at least as far as the year 901, but it could have been first settled earlier. During the early Middle Ages, the town was a centre of the wool trade, and this was a peak in its importance...

  • King's Shropshire Light Infantry
  • Ludlow Castle
    Ludlow Castle
    Ludlow Castle is a large, partly ruined, non-inhabited castle which dominates the town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England. It stands on a high point overlooking the River Teme...

    , another English Marches
    Welsh Marches
    The Welsh Marches is a term which, in modern usage, denotes an imprecisely defined area along and around the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods...


External links

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