• Lucy

Hopton Castle (Shropshire, England)

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Hopton Castle was probably founded as a mottle and bailey in the 12th Century, the stone castle being later built by Walter de Hopton during the Barons' War in the 1260s. After the last Walter de Hopton died during the War of the Roses the castle passed into the hands of the Corbet family (owners of Moreton Corbet Castle north of Shrewsbury).

It then passed to Sir Henry Wallop through marriage. He fortified the castle for Parliamentary causes during the Civil War but died before he could participate himself. His son Robert Wallop then took over the castle, and is known now as one of the regicides of Kings Charles I (who was executed in 1649 by Oliver Cromwell after capture, conviction of treason, and his refusal to move the country to a constitutional monarchy). Robert Wallop was a judge at the trial of the king, although not one of the signatories of his death warrant.

The castle did suffer siege during the civil war, when it was garrisoned by Parliamentarian Samuel More and a small force of men. 500 Royalists, led by Sir Michael Woodhouse, surrounded the castle for 3 weeks. Samuel More finally agreed terms of surrender once the bailey had been taken and the entrance to the keep was on fire, more of which can be read about here.

The castle was still habitable in 1700 but fell into disrepair soon afterwards. In 2008 the Hopton Castle Preservation Trust took ownership of the castle, and with fundraising and a grant from the National Lottery they began conservation and repair work.

The castle is now free to access to the public, with a small car-park and information leaflet available to visitors. Whilst this site is little-known, it's of special interest with regards to it's role in the Civil War as one of the few castle in the west that was held by Parliamentarian forces.

Pictures taken May 2018.

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