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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Shrewsbury Castle

Before you view the photographs, here's a little of the castle's history. The oldest parts of the red sandstone castle were constructed between 1066 and 1074, during William the Conqueror's reign. Sadly, very little of the original Norman castle remains. Most of it was destroyed by Edward I sometime around 1300, when he rebuilt and strengthened the castle. Never again used as a fortress, it fell into disrepair for some centuries, until some further modifications were carried out during the Civil War (1642-1651). Captured by Parliamentarians in 1645, it was surrendered to the Crown in 1660, when Charles II was restored to the throne. The king subsequently granted the castle to Sir Francis Newport, of Hugh Ercall, Shropshire, in 1663.

The castle remained in private hands for more than two hundred and fifty years. During this time, there were many additions and modifications to the structure. In the late 18th century, Thomas Telford redesigned and renovated the whole interior as a private house. The Castle was donated to the Corporation of Shrewsbury in 1924. Nowadays, it houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum, where visitors can view military pictures, uniforms, medals, weapons and other equipment, dating from the 18th Century to the present day. Sadly, I didn't have time to visit the museum.

This house is the first thing I saw as I entered the castle grounds. I assume it has something to do with the castle or the museum.

Before entering the main castle grounds, all visitors pass through this pleasant little garden.

It was from here that I got my first proper glimpse of the castle.

I was tempted to sit a while in this well-kept garden, but decided to press on, with one eye on the clock.

As I passed through the arch into the main castle grounds, I spotted this ancient-looking gate, and a curious wrought metal structure just above it, in the top right hand corner. I have no idea what this metal structure is. Any ideas?

It's quite obvious that the original Norman castle has been largely obliterated. There is one partial tower remaining in the grounds, at another location. It's called Laura's Tower, but I didn't have the time to climb up to it.

I've greyscaled the above image, as I think it emphasises what I suspect is part of the original town wall, to the left of the castle.

Yet another ancient-looking door - the castle and its grounds had quite a few of them.

I could have stayed in these gardens for hours, but had to keep moving.

As I made my way back to the outer garden, I decided to take a few shots of these old guns. It had proven impossible earlier, as they were surrounded by a group of elderly men, presumably ex-servicemen,

As I made my way out, I met this chap. He'd emerged from the house in the castle grounds, just a few moments earlier.

I paused to take some shots of what I assumed was a cathedral of some sorts. I was surprised to discover later, that it was in fact the town library.

After emerging from the castle grounds, it was time to press on with the next stages of my guided walk. I was on my way to the Abbey, and a walk along the banks of the Severn.

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