Hopton Castle 5845

Ludlow, England, Shropshire

Brief Description

Hopton Castle had a park associated with it in the early post-medieval and probably medieval periods, but it is now lost.


There was a park south of Hopton Castle in 1695, occupying Hopton Titterhill, a prominent hill. It was presumably created before Hopton Castle's destruction in the Civil War.

Visitor Facilities


More information
  • Castle (featured building)
  • Description: Stone-built tower house, with feature dating stylistically to the 11th/ 12th centuries. Building much damaged by siege of 1644.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
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Civil Parish

  • Hopton Castle

Detailed History

The village now known as Hopton Castle was well established by the time of the Norman Conquest, but the date of the castle itself is unclear. In 1066, the manor of ‘Opetoune’ was owned by a certain Eadric, but the Domesday Book (1086) records the incumbent as Picot de Say, who was in turn holding the manor for his lord, a Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury. The area is listed as 'waste' (though it should be noted that the meaning of this description is much debated).

In 1165 the lord of the manor was known as Walter de Opton, and his successors retained this soubriquet until the 15th century. In the 13th century, Sir Walter de Hopton was Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire. He also acted as a judge and an auditor in Ireland for Edward I, but was eventually forced out of national politics by a corruption scandal, and the earliest known reference to 'the castles of Hoptoune' relates to a theft charge laid against him in 1264.

In the 15th century, the estate fell (by way of marriage) to the Corbet family of Moreton Corbet (North Shrops). In the 16th century it passed to Sir Henry Wallop of Hampshire, an important figure in Elizabethan politics, and subsequently to his son, Robert, who was one of few Parliamentarian sympathisers in Shropshire during the Civil Wars of the 17th century. The ultimate result of this was one of the most infamous sieges of the period. In 1644, the castle was besieged by Prince Rupert, and though the garrison eventually surrendered, reports suggest that they were summarily executed by Royalist forces. Robert Wallop himself survived the siege, but, following the Restoration of Charles II, he was arrested and imprisoned for his role in the execution of Charles I, and he died in the Tower in 1667.

However, in 1655 Wallop had sold the Hopton estate to the Beale family, who remained in ownership into the 19th century, despite the fact that it seems to have been unoccupied (and probably unoccupiable) throughout this period. In 1890, the estate was sold on once again, this time to Sir Edward Ripley of Bedstone Court.

The heavy bombardment and undermining to which the castle had been subjected in the siege of 1644, followed by centuries of decay, meant that action was needed to save the site. Following campaigns and successful appeals to the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, the Hopton Castle Preservation Trust managed to secure funding for the site’s purchase and consolidation for display.

Information above taken from www.hoptoncastle.org.uk. Further details available from this site.


  • Medieval (1066-1540)