Ruyton-XI-Towns Castle, Shropshire
In the centre of Ruyton. Church St
Ruyton XI Towns is a very unusual name for a village and is derived from when 11 'towns' were joined to form one manor back in the 1100's. At Domesday, Ruyton itself was held for Earl Roger by Odo de Bernieres, 'the soldier'.
The manor later passed to the powerful Fitz Alan Marcher lords, being held for them by the Lestrange family.
Only fragments of this mid twelfth century castle remains, surrounded by gravestones of the Victorian church.
~ History ~
1086 ~ A motte and bailey castle is built by John Lestrange on a natually strong position overlooking the River Parry.
1148 ~ A stone castle is recorded to have replaced the earlier earth and timber defenses.
1203 ~ The castle is damaged by the outlawed noble Fulke Fitz Warine during his rebellion against King John.
1212 ~ The Welsh attack the castle causing damage to its walls.
Soon afterwards the le Lestrange family abandon the castle.
1272 ~ The castle is recorded as being ruinous.
1302 ~ The Earl of Arundel purchases the castle from the Lestrange family and set about rebuilding the castle.
1313 ~ Rebuilding of the castle is completed.
1326 ~ Ownership of the castle passes to Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, following his successful invasion of England with Queen Isabella, against her husband King Edward II. The scandal of the exiled Mortimer's relationship with Queen Isabella as her lover sees them forced to withdraw from the French court to Flanders. Here they obtain assistance for their invasion from Count William of Hainaut. Accompanied by the Prince Edward, the future King Edward III, and Henry Earl of Lancaster, their army soon has KIng Edward II on the run. After wandering helplessly for some weeks in Wales, the king is taken prisoner and forced to abdicate in favour of his son.
1327 ~ Prince Edward is crowned King Edward III. However, the country continues to be ruled by Mortimer and Queen Isabella. Some months later, Edward II dies in captivity. Mortimer is suspected of having the former king murdered.
1330 ~ Following Earl Roger Mortimer's execution by King Edward III, the castle is granted back to the Earl of Arundel.
1360's ~ The castle is abandoned, this time for good.
1364 ~ Stone is removed from the castle to repair the church tower.