• Lucy

Hopton Castle (Shropshire, England)

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Hopton Castle has a grisly history…

In 1644 the castle was besieged by a 500 strong Royalist force under the command of Sir Michael Woodhouse. Although the garrison of 30 Parliamentarians led by Sir Samuel Moore managed to hold the castle for 3 weeks, withstanding attempts to undermine by tunnelling and cannons pummelling the walls, eventually they had no choice but to surrender.

The terms of their surrender were that the castle defenders be spared their lives, however upon leaving the castle Sir Moore was immediately taken to prison in nearby Ludlow Castle. His men were then tied up back to back and brutally killed by the Royalist forces, their throats slit and their bodies discarded in the moat. The one surviving maid was then sent to nearby Brampton Bryan Castle to deliver a message; ‘You’re next’.

There were two other survivors of the massacre that soon became known as the ‘Hopton Quarter’: second-in-command Major Phillips who was beaten and thrown in the moat before his mens’ throats were slit, and another wounded soldier who hid in a crack in the castle’s walls.

Sir Woodhouse went on to siege and win Brampton Bryan Castle, however these lucky defenders were spared and instead sent to Shrewsbury as prisoners of war. It goes without saying that this brutal massacre has lent itself to many local ghost stories.

Please see my previous post for some more of the castle's history

Hopton Castle Site Plan by Mike Salter

Photos taken May 2019.

Click here to buy it on Amazon! Mike Salter's amazing book: The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire - a must have for any castle ramblers.

Hopton Castle Preservation Trust

Wessex Archaeology's Archaeological Evaluation 2010

Castle Finders - Hopton Castle

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