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Historic England Research Records

Bridgnorth Castle

Hob Uid: 114679
Location :
Shropshire
Bridgnorth
Grid Ref : SO7167792703
Summary : The castle was probably built by Robert of Belleme circa 1101-2, and was mostly ruined by around 1530. The keep was slighted in 1645. Standing remains consist of the keep and Curtain Wall. Fragments of walls and buildings visible around the castle site. A 12 metre length of walling may be part of the outer bailey wall. Scheduled.
More information : (SO 71679285) Castle (NR) (site of) (NAT)
(SO71659278) Tower (NR) (remains of) NAT) (1)

Bridgnorth Castle was probably built by Robert of Belleme about 1101-2 on the abandonment of Quatford (SO 79 SW 29) and was situated, according to Florence of Worcester, on the site of a Saxon burh (SO 79 SW 58) built by Ethelfleda in 912 AD. Belleme surrendered the castle to Henry I in 1102. It then fell into the hands of Hugh de Mortimer during Stephen's reign but was surrendered to Henry II in 1155. In 1211-2 a barbican was added to protect the entrance, which apparently had no gatehouse. There is also documentary evidence for a tower (interval?) and royal chapel. By Henry VIII's reign the castle was in ruins, the keep surviving until 1646 when it was slighted by the Parliamentarians. The original church of St Mary Magdalene (SO 79 SW 24) stood within the castle. The shattered walls of the tower keep built between 1105 and 1113, and a fragment of the curtain wall extending from the south wall remain. A portion of the wall around the summit of Castle Hill is said to be extant in the yard of the White Lion in West Castle Street while remains of the wall of the Ward form the eastern boundary of gardens to modern properties on the east side of East Castle Street.

In 1976 at SO 7159 9300 a short length of the inner face of the red sandstone wall of the outer bailey was revealed immediately south of its north west corner, under the present Post Office buildings (8), probably part of the Castle wall which was demolished in 1901 during the building of the Post Office (7). The only remains now visible of the King's House, within which was the castle hall, are some fragments of well built masonry which stand close to the west side of the tower. It apparently extended from where the Tower House (sic) now is to the southern extremity of the Castle Hill, all along the western side of the inner bailey. (For castle gate and postern gates see SO 79 SW 75). Gde 1. (6) (2-8)

Bridgnorth Castle was situated on a steep sided promontory overlooking the River Severn. The remains are fragmentary and unconnected and most of the site has been built over but the area enclosed by the bailey wall appears to have measured 360.0m from north to south and 160.0m from west to east at its widest point.

SO 7165 9278. Three sides of the Keep, 18 to 20.0m in height remain leaning spectacularly to the east. (See photograph). There is a fragment of another building (? the Kings House) on its south-west side ('B' on plan -Authty 5). 10.0m to the south-east there is a large slab of fallen masonry, probably from the Keep.

SO 71599300: A 12.0m length of ancient sandstone walling, formerly the boundary wall of the yard of the White Lion may be part of the outer bailey wall (See photograph).

SO 71729285 to SO 71729302: An old stone wall 163.0m in length, much rebuilt, follows a sinuous course on the east of East Castle Street. (9)

Additional information (10-11) Scheduled. (12)

SO 716 927. Bridgnorth Castle. Scheduled. (13)

Listed by Cathcart King. (14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500 1970
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society
Source details : (W Watkins-Pitchford)
Page(s) : 164-74
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 52 - 1947-8
Source Number : 11
Source : Society of Antiquaries of London occasional papers
Source details :
Page(s) : 33-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-81
Source Number : 12
Source : County list of Scheduled Ancient Monuments : December 1987
Source details : Eng Heritage Sams Salop
Page(s) : 3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : County list of Scheduled Monuments : March 1994
Source details : English Heritage SAM List Salop
Page(s) : 3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 421
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 3
Source : Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society
Source details : (J F A Mason)
Page(s) : 37-46
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 57 - 1961-4
Source Number : 4
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 576-77
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1963
Source Number : 5
Source : Archaeologia Cambrensis
Source details :
Page(s) : 263
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1874
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Bridgnorth RD Feb 1974 42
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 200-1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 49 - 1937-38
Source Number : 8
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Salop Co Sites & Mons Rec SA 372 1976 (I Burrow)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DJC 12-MAR-79
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Md Military Archit in Eng 1 1884 273-81 plan (G T Clark)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant 1102
Monument End Date : 1102
Monument Start Date : 1102
Monument Type : Castle, Keep, Curtain Wall, Interval Tower, Domestic Chapel
Evidence : Ruined Building, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : slighted in 1645
Monument End Date : 1645
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SALOP 22
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SO 79 SW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 114846
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SO 79 SW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1979-03-12
End Date : 1979-03-12
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: OS SWEEPS
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST MARY'S RECTORY, EAST CASTLE STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EAST AND WEST CASTLE STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND BETWEEN EAST AND WEST CASTLE STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BRIDGNORTH CASTLE (TIME TEAM)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE WALK/CASTLE HILL
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT 17 EAST CASTLE STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31