Bishops Castle, Shropshire

The handsome little town of Bishops Castle stands in a strategic valley between the ranges of hills which split up southern Shropshire.  The town takes its name from the Castle, which was once one of the larger Shropshire Castles, although only scattered remains are left today.

Originally called "Lydbury Castle" it was built around 1100 as a motte and bailey, the vague plan of which survives today.  This was given in 1154 by Bishop de Betun of Hereford to the Mortimer Earls of Shrewsbury.  It was subsequently regained by the next Bishop, Foliot, and in 1167 it was re-fortified, probably in stone.  The main part of the stonework remaining is a piece of quite tall curtain wall (pictured above) leading up the side of the bailey towards the motte.

In 1263 the Castle was stormed (and known then as Lindeberinort Castle).  John FitzAlan, who stormed the Castle, held it for sixteen weeks and caused a great deal of damage.  The Castle became "Bissopes Castle" in 1285.  In 1538 Leland described the Castle as 'a castle of goode strength'.  In 1610 the Castle, then owned by the King, was granted to the Howards who allowed it to fall into decay.

Parts of the shell keep were still visible circa 1940 when the bailey was used as a bowling green (although stumbling across the uneven sloping ground today it makes one wonder who on earth bowls could have been played there!).  Today the shattered remains of the Castle are in a little public park.

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