Many a facetious visitor to this little Shropshire village have said with heavy sarcasm "what as in Dick Whittington?" - the answer, of course, is "Yes"; well, kind of. The family name came from here, although Dick himself was born in Gloucestershire.
Aside from this tenuous historical link with the legendary Lord Mayor of London the village can also boast a superb Castle gatehouse, the main part of what remains of a once quite large Castle.
The earliest reference to the Castle is from 1138 when it was fortified against King Stephen during the Anarchy - but the implication is it already existed in some form by that point. In 1221 the owner of the Castle, by that point Fulk FitzWarine, received licence to crenellate and the date would fit nicely with the construction of a typical Edwardian style Gatehouse. It was reputed to have been taken by Llewelyn the Great in 1223, but was soon restored to its English owners. The next 9 owners of the Castle were ALL called Fulk FitzWarine - dying out eventually in 1415.
The Castle vanishes into the footnotes of history from Leland's 1540 survey when it was described as a "ditched round castle not very large in the middle of the village" a rather terse description even for the taciturn Leland.
Today the Castle is in a kind of little public park, although the gatehouse was occupied until very recently as a family home.
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