From the incredible Ludlow Castle and the eye-opening Acton Burnell Castle to the astonishing Stokesay Castle the castles and fortresses of Shropshire are absolutely mind-blowing places to discover. While first-time visitors may just want to hit the highlights, for those who wish to delve deeper into Shropshire’s castles other unique sites to explore shouldn’t be missed, such as such as Shrewsbury Castle, Clun Castle and Alberbury Castle. We’ve put together an expert guide to the castles of Shropshire with our top places to visit as well as a full list of Shropshire castles which shouldn’t be ignored if you have the time.
What are the top Castles in Shropshire to Visit?
Ludlow Castle, the finest of medieval ruined castles, set in glorious Shropshire countryside. Initially a Norman stronghold it then turned royal castle, the imposing ruins of which can be seen today. The castle’s origins can be traced back to the 11th century and to Walter de Lacy, a Norman nobleman who is said to have been given the land by a prominent supporter of William the Conqueror. The exact date on which Ludlow Castle was founded is unclear, but the earliest parts still standing today were the work of de Lacy’s sons, Roger and Hugh. In the 15th century, Ludlow Castle became property of the Crown, to be abandoned in 1689 and fall into decay. Having been acquired by the Earls of Powis in 1811 and still under their ownership, Ludlow Castle is now open to the public.
Acton Burnell Castle is a ruined 13th century English fortified manor located south of Shrewsbury, UK. Made up of partially-preserved red sandstone walls, the site is a picturesque shell which makes for a peaceful, atmospheric visit. Originally built around 1284, Acton Burnell Castle belonged to Robert Burnell, a powerful local landowner and close friend of the English King, Edward I. In fact, Burnell served as Chancellor of England under Edward and was also the Bishop of Bath & Wells. When constructed, Acton Burnell Castle had walls standing up to 40ft high, with three-storey towers at each corner. It was clearly a well-appointed manor house, as witnessed by the fact that it played host to King Edward I and his retinue on several occasions. The initial hall, which was attached to Acton Burnell Castle, was even used to host one or two meetings of the English parliament. Today, Acton Burnell Castle lies in ruins, having been slowly abandoned through the middle ages and finally replaced altogether by the nearby 19th century Acton Burnell Hall. The site is now operated by English Heritage and is open to the public.