Bridgnorth Castle, Shropshire
The intriguing keep of Bridgnorth Castle is just one reason to visit this historic town
Once the epitome of a hilltop castle, the leaning ruin of the keep is now all that remains of Bridgnorth Castle. Standing proudly over the River Severn below, the Bridgnorth Castle, in its prime, dominated the surrounding landscape, and had played an important role in the history of Shropshire.
It was the castle’s role in the English Civil War that reduced it to the ruin which it is today. By 1642 only Bridgnorth and Ludlow remained Royalist strongholds in Shropshire and by 1646 the town – and the Royalist forces holed up within it – was under attack from the Roundheads.
The subsequent battle for Bridgnorth saw much of the town reduced to ashes. After much resistance, the Royalists finally surrendered to Cromwell’s troops in April 1646. With the Parliamentarians firmly in control of the town, they decided to pull down the castle, and the keep was all but destroyed in 1647.
The remnants of Bridgnorth’s keep stand in the town’s beautifully maintained gardens today, while the old Northgate remains at the opposite end of the town’s High Street. In between these two landmarks stands the old town hall, while various small sections of the wall can still be found in other parts of the town.
However, little else now remains from the once imposing castle. There are numerous town pubs which are very welcoming to visitors, while for those of a strong constitution there are numerous tales of ghosts. The Severn Valley Railway runs from the town.
Don’t miss: Lavington’s Hole, part of a tunnel in the hillside used to blow up the castle above.
Open all year. Free entry
Bridgnorth Tourist Information 01746 763257