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Oswestry Castle

Visited August 2018

Location Oswestry, Shropshire
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby Oswestry- Heritage railway only
Parking  Yes
Facilities None


This once great castle is now reduced to a very ruinous ruin, having been plundered for stone to expand the town that sprung up around it.






A castle was first recorded here in 1086, before the town was established and before it was known as Oswestry. It originally was known as Castle L'Oeuvre. By the middle of the 1200's it had taken on the Welsh name for the area Creos Oswalt, named after King Oswald who was killed nearby in 641. This eventually corrupted into the name Oswestry as we know it today. By this point the castle had been part of the lands of various Norman lords and at one time even a Welsh prince, Madog ap Maredudd. After the reign of King John the military significance of the castle declined, and it was not repaired or extended to any great extent.





Considering that in 1375 a survey of the castle notes it had a constable's hall, chapel, kitchen and larder, it is a shame that there is so little left to show for it today. The castle barbican survived until 1850, when it was demolished. The castle had long since been used as a source of building materials, although the tower reputedly built by the Welsh Prince Maredudd was still there in 1530 as noted by Tudor historian John Leland.





The castle, like so any others was re-deployed during the Civil War, with some basic strengthening work being carried out at the start. The town declared for the King, but it suffered a severe pounding of cannon fire and so was taken and ultimately destroyed by the parliamentarians. 


In the early 1900's the remaining motte was landscaped into a public park, with only a few fragments of stonework left at the site. It is not really recognisable as a castle in the traditional sense anymore, but is worth a visit if you are in Oswestry with some time to spare. The town itself is pleasant enough, and has many tourist attractions in the surrounding area. We also visited the Cambrian Railway based at Oswestry Station, for a ride on the steam railway. The station building has been lovingly restored by enthusiasts and serves a lovely all day breakfast, among other things. We would recommend the cafe at the station as a good place for a refreshment stop. It was here that we found an old photo of Oswestry Castle park , as shown above.




More info:  Oswestry Castle

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