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Hopton Castle

Hopton Castle near Clungunford and Ludlow.  Image copyright Wheely Wonderful Cycling

Hopton Castle
Hopton Castle

Tel: 01547 530352
Web: www.hoptoncastle.org.uk


Hopton Castle is situated in the village of the same name which lies approximately half way between Knighton and Craven Arms, in the English county of Shropshire. Hopton Castle featured in the British TV series Time Team in 2010.

Located in south Shropshire, close to the borders with Herefordshire and Wales, Hopton Castle (from hop a valley and tun a settlement), has a fascinating history.

The settlement was well established by the time of the Norman Conquest, but the date of the attractive ruin we see today is not clear (even the archaeologists disagree): it has features typical of the 11th or 12th centuries but may have been built one or two centuries later in a deliberately old-fashioned style, perhaps to give the owners increased status as landowning gentry. The earliest known written reference is to 'the castles (sic) of Hoptoune' in the 1264 case against Sir Walter de Hopton.

The castle became notorious during the Civil War between Parliament and King Charles I. It was then owned by the Wallops, Parliamentarians in a largely Royalist county. A small garrison of about 30 was commanded by Colonel Samuel More who wrote a famous diary of the month-long siege by Prince Rupert's forces in 1644. While there are various versions of what happened, it seems clear that most of those in the Castle, having finally surrendered, were killed and thrown in 'a muddy pit'.

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