I recently posted a dramatic black & white photo of this thousand-year old castle – one of Shropshire’s finest. Here are the perimeter walls from a different angle, on their clifftop eyrie above the River Teme. It must have been a daunting sight for any peasant foot soldier commanded by his lord to get on and besiege the place. It might explain why so much of the castle is still standing.
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.