The Leaning Tower of…er…Bridgnorth?



At 15 degrees this castle has ‘more lean’ than the leaning Tower of Pisa, although all that remains of this 900-year-old Norman castle is this blown up tower. It is now now a feature in the sedate Castle Gardens  in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, my nearest market town.

The ruins have been in this state since Britain’s Civil War in the 1640s, when Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarian forces laid siege to this key Royalist stronghold. The Royalists meanwhile had set fire to the town before retreating into the castle. The fire then reached the Roundheads’ gunpowder store just outside the castle wall. This duly exploded, and the upshot of all the firing and blasting was that the Royalists surrendered, and Oliver Cromwell ordered the complete destruction of the castle. As you can see, the tower defeated the demolition gang, and so there it stands, apparently defying gravity for the last 368 years.


Below is the view over the River Severn that you  might once have had from the castle keep. When Charles I first visited the place, he is reputed to have pronounced it “the finest view in all my Kingdom.” Sadly for him, he did not live too much longer to enjoy either the view or the kingdom.


copyright 2015 Tish Farrell


This week at Paula’s Thursday’s Special, she is inviting us to share Traces of the Past. She has a truly impressive castle to show us, one that was being built at much the same time as the Bridgnorth stronghold.

38 thoughts on “The Leaning Tower of…er…Bridgnorth?

  1. Hi Tish,

    What lovely photographs! That village view from the top is breathtaking and does transport one to the middle ages as you say. We can’t fault poor old Charles I for exclaiming the way he did, can we?


  2. 🙂 Amazing. I love odd structures that defy gravity. I should read the link you attached (thank you so much) to see if there is some kind of support system nowadays to help it stay in place. A British engineer saved the tower of Pisa from sinking in, so there should be a solution for this one if necessary. I will attach your photo of the finest view in the kingdom, cause it really took my breath away. Thank you for sharing this, Tish. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

  3. How interesting. Bridge North is not a town I have explored much and certainly not this castle remains. Not sure I’d park my car that close though. I mean 368 years is chancing it…

    1. Bridgnorth has some interesting nooks and crannies, so it’s a worth a visit. There’s a Thomas Telford church near the castle and one of the oldest working funicular railways between high and low town, along the town walls. And the Severn Valley Railway of course 🙂

  4. Gosh my hands type different to my brain – of course I meant Bridgnorth – although it has always puzzled me as to where the missing ‘e’ went. Doh!

    1. Oh I shouldn’t think so, Gilly. I hardly knew about it myself, having walked around all other parts of adjacent Bridgnorth, but somehow for ‘x’ number of decades altogether missing this ‘wonder’ 😀

  5. I always open your posts when I have an expanse of time ahead of me, because I never know where they’ll lead me. Today from a leaning tower to Wilfred Own. Always worth meandering from one substantial pst to the next.

  6. Another amazing old structure that has defied the laws of gravity for so long, but I still would not park a car so close. Lovely autumnal foliage in the view of the village.

    1. That car is really quite worrying. It’s interesting the effect of such leaning objects on our perception though. Which do we believe most, the test of time or our own eyes?

  7. I am reading extracts of The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge and remembering (vaguely) other books I read as a child about Oliver Cromwell and the Civil War. The Children of the New Forest comes to mind but there were other books by well known children’s authors of the 50s and 60s…..all the names escape me but not the memory of the pleasure of reading the stories. What a beautiful view. And is that a bird on top of the leaning tower?

    1. I remember reading Children of the New Forest. I was both fascinated and alarmed by the concept of the Civil War. As to the bird, I’m not sure, but it’s probably a pigeon.

  8. The first shot looks as if the car has ”rammed” the castle and was responsible for it leaning.

    A sticker with the word ”Oops!” would not be out of place. 🙂

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