We spent a great day in Shropshire, visiting three different castles.
The first was Moreton Corbet Castle, which is part medieval castle and part Elizabethan mansion. The castle was built in the 13th century by the Toret family, and was inherited by Richard de Corbet in 1235. His descendant, Robert Torbet, started to build a new mansion in the 16th century, but after he died of plague in 1583, his two brothers continued the building. The buildings are still owned by the Corbet family (who live elsewhere) but they are managed by English Heritage.
It’s said that the grounds are haunted by the ghost of Paul Holmyard who was a Puritan at a time when they were being persecuted, and was given protection by Vincent Corbet. However, Vincent got scared and forced Paul to leave, taking shelter in the nearby woods until his death. One day, Paul appeared to Vincent and put a curse on him. From that day, Vincent never lived at the mansion house again (can’t say that I blame him!)
Stokesay Castle is one of the best preserved fortified manor house, dating from the 13th century. It was built by Lawrence Ludlow, a leading wool merchant, and by some good fortune it escaped destruction during the 17th century Civil War, when so many other castles were destroyed. Thus it gives a very good impression of the homes of the rich in medieval times.