Clun Castle, Shropshire
30 miles S.W of
A488 / B4368
One of the lesser Marcher castles sits in the small village of Clun, located in Shropshire about 10 miles east of the Welsh border. Clun Castle started as a Norman timber motte and bailey castle, overlooking the River Clun on a natural rocky mound. While the settlement at Clun never developed as planned, the castle was a formidable structure, fronted by ditches and two heavily defended baileys, with thick walls, towers and a keep with walls 9 feet thick.
Due to its close proximity to the Welsh border, Clun Castle was in the front-line of Welsh and Norman hostilities.
~ History ~
1090's - Robert "Picot" de Say builds a timber castle at Clun.
1140's - The castle passes through marriage to the Fitz-Alans.
1195 - The Welsh Prince, Lord Rhys, storms the castle. After a long and bitter siege the castle is reduced to "ashes". The Welsh march on to win a bloody battle against the Normans at Radnor.
Following this attack the rebuilding of the castle in stone begins.
1214 - The Welsh return under Llywelyn the Great who once again captures and burns the castle.
1216 - During the barons revolt against King John, the King besieges the castle.
1234 - Llywelyn returns but this time is unable to take the castle and so turns his attentions to the town, burning it.
1272 - On the death of John Fitz-Alan, the inquisition into his estates refers to the castle as being small but well built. The Fitz-Alans abandon the castle to focus their attentions and wealth on their more impressive Arundel Castle. Consequently, the Clun castle gradually falls into disrepair.
1277 - King Edward I is victorious over Llywelyn the Last and with his death English rule over Wales is finally established during the years that follow. The importance of front-line Marcher castles such as Clun is reduced.
1400's - During the Welsh revolt led by Owain Glyndwr, the weakened castle falls easy prey to his rampaging army. Following its fall the castle is not repaired and quickly falls into ruin, vanishing from historical records.
1540's - The ruinous castle is sold by the Fitz-Alans to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, whose family later sells it on to the Earl of Northumberland. Centuries later the Howards repurchase the castle as a reminder of their families historical past.