• Lucy

Whittington Castle (Shropshire, England)

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

Whittington Castle is located in north Shropshire, and is owned and managed by the Whittington Castle Preservation Fund. It is free to access, but there's a small parking fee for using the car-park that goes back towards the preservation of the castle.

A motte and bailey that was replaced in the 13th Century by buildings around a courtyard, the site was originally fortified by William Peveril in 1138 in support of Empress Matilda during The Anarchy (a civil war that lasted from 1135 to 1153 as a result of a succession crisis after the only legitimate son of Henry I died in a shipwreck).

In 1149 the lordship of Whittington, like Oswestry, was annexed by Madog ap Maredudd and became part of the Kingdom of Powys until Madog's death in 1160. In 1165 Henry II gave control of the castle to Roger de Powys, along with funds to repair the site.

The standing castle was built sometime after 1223, when the castle was captured and destroyed by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth of Gwynedd. The castle was rebuilt in stone with a curtain wall, inner bailey, and 5 towers surrounded by a moat and further protected by an outer gatehouse and barbican.

In 1282 the castle became the residence of the FitzWarin family, who held it until 1420. After the FitzWarin line died out the castle came into the Bourchier family by marriage. In 1545 John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, exchanged the castle and lands for monastic estates down in Devon. The castle was recorded at the time as being in a ruinous state.

Passing through various hands, the castle was likely never inhabited after this point and was in such a ruined state that it did not play any part in the civil war (1642 - 1651).

'One of the most prominent legends concerning Whittington Castle regards the Marian Chalice, thought by some to be the Holy Grail. According to this legend, Sir Fulk FitzWarin, the great grandson of Payne Peveril and one in the line of guardians of the Grail and King Arthur. A story from the 13th century states that the Grail was kept in a private chapel of the castle when Sir Foulke was there. The coat of arms of Fulk FitzWarin is hung above the castle archway. ' - Wikipedia

Pictures taken May 2018

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