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Brockhurst Castle

aka Church Stretton Castle

Church Stretton, Shropshire, England
SO 446 926

Photographs copyright 2002 by Laurie Oliver

Because it is included in William the Conqueror's great Domesday survey, we know that the history of Church Stretton pre-dates the Norman conquest of 1066. Indeed, the settlement at Church Stretton appear date to Saxon times when it was held by the earls of Mercia.

The castle at Church Stretton, more commonly referred to today as Brockhurst Castle, is first mentioned in the records in 1156 during the reign of Henry II, the castle's likely builder. As such, Brockhurst began its life as a royal castle. The castle seems to have had a useful life of about 100 years, and by 1255 had all but vanished.

Robert Higham and Philip Barker mention Brockhurst in their book Timber Castles, noting that:

"the earthworks completely disguise the remains of a stone curtain wall and no doubt of other, more massive, stone buildings....it appears that the outer bailey had only timber defences".


Historian Paul M. Remfry finds several interesting historical references to the castle as follows:

  • 1156: Church Stretton castle held by Rex [PR 2 Hen II, 43]

  • 1194-5: 5m spent on Church Stretton castle [PR 7 Ric, 244]

  • 1215 August: John F Alan ordered to hand Church Stretton castle over to Hugh Neville by rex [Rot Lit Pat, 151b]. The same year? he strengthened it with 10m gained from the town [Harl Ms 624, fo.163, extract from lost Memoranda roll of 4 Hen III]. Trees felled in the wood at Longnor for repairs of the castle by Hugh Neville referred to in a Forest Perambulation of 1235 [Eyton XII, 22]

  • 1229-32: Stretton castle granted to Hubert Burgh [Eyton XII, 22]

  • 1238: Church Stretton castle granted to Henry Hastings and wife in lieu of her share of Earldom of Chester [Eyton XII, 22]

  • 1255: 'no castle' at Church Stretton [Rot Hund II, 84]


    Additional photographs of Brockhurst Castle

     


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    Copyright 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas

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