Shrawardine Castle, Shropshire
2 National Cycle Rte 81
Shrawardine Castle is located on a crossing of the River Severn and served as an important gathering point for forces campaigning across the border into Wales. Today it is very ruinous, located in the village centre. It was held by the powerful Marcher family the Fitzalan's within the lordship of Oswestry. Its life as a castle ended following a five day siege during the English Civil War when it is slighted to prevent it being used in future, and its stone heavily robbed until its remains is what you see today. I'm certain excavations would reveal far more of the castle's foundations which you can make out from the aerial shots.
~ History ~
1171 ~ Shrawardine castle passes into the control of the crown for King Henry II with £20 spent repairs there and other works.
1210 ~ William Fitzalan, Lord of Oswestry dies leaving two young sons, William and John. They are placed into royal wardship until they come of age. However, King John later demands an enormous fee of 10,000 marks from the Fitzalan's for permission for William to inherit his father's lands and titles.
1215 ~ The powerful and rich Fitzalan's struggle but eventually manage to find the money, with William having to do homage to King John in March, dying just a month later. Understandably, following this experience which nearly crippled the Fitzalan's, his brother John decides to john the Baron's rebellion against the King, eventually leading to the King being forced to sign Magna Carta.
With England in turmoil due to the Baron's rebellion against King John, Llywelyn the Great, prince of Wales, destroys Shrawardine Castle on his way to attacking the English powerbase at Shrewsbury Castle.
1216 ~ Following KIng John's rejection of Magna Carter, his royal forces campaign through the Welsh Marches, destroying castles and laying waste to the towns of the Fitzalan's in revenge. King John fails to take nearby Oswestry Castle and later dies in the same year. The Fitzalan's are able to make peace with the regency government of the new King, Henry III.
1226 ~ Oswestry is named by King Henry III and Llywelyn the Great as a place for a peace conference between the prince and certain Marcher lords including the Fitzalan's. However, later the same year John Fitzalan is one of the Marcher Lords ordered by the King to resist Llywleyln.
1231 ~ Border trouble with the Welsh flares up once more. John Fitzalan is seriously wounded. Royal orders are given to take Fitzalan lands into control of the Crown fearing his death. These are later cancelled upon hearing of John's recovery.
1233 ~ Llywelyn the Great returns and lays waste to swathes of Fitzalan lands in a concerted campaign against the growing power and threat of the Fitzalan's. John Fitzalan and other Marcher Lords join forces in opposition to the King's officials led by Earl Richard Marshal. John eventually has to give hostages to the king for his fidelity and allow royal forces to garrison his castle at Oswestry.
1235 ~ John and the King resolve their differences.
1244 ~ As a further sign of royal favour the castle of Shrawardine is given to John Fitzalan by the King, who in turn rebuilds the damaged and decaying castle, renaming it Castle Isabel in honour of his wife
1645 ~ The castle is held for King Charles I against Parliamentry forces who hold out against a five day seige before being forced to surrender. The castle is later slighted. Following this stone is robbed from its walls to repair the damaged walls of Shrewsbury, and later still local buildings.