Shrewsbury Castle


The Great Hall and Shropshire Regimental Museum

Like the library building opposite, the castle contains structural elements from several different eras. There was a Saxon settlement here but after William the Conqueror’s victory in 1066 some of the Saxon homes were demolished to make way for a castle residence for the new Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery, in 1074. The first castle was built in Norman motte-and-bailey style, probably from stone.
A famous battle took place in 1138 when the castle was under siege during a civil war between Queen Matilda and King Stephen. The governor of the castle supported Matilda’s claim to the throne but in the battle that took place after the siege Stephen’s supporters captured the castle and hanged over a hundred of Shrewsbury’s defenders and knights.

Two round towers and much of the walls date from a rebuilding of the castle in 1269. In 1271 the River Severn undercut the motte (mound) and part of it slid into the river. Over the next two centuries the castle saw many conflicts and wars but by the 1400s it had fallen into decline and remained that way until the 1660s when Charles I used it as his base. Some reconstruction was carried out then.

The entrance gate and postern date from1074 and the time of Roger de Montgomery; the lower level of the Great Hall dates from the 1200s, the upper floor from the late 1500s. In 1924 the castle was purchased by Shropshire Horticultural Society and given to the Borough. The Great Hall now houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum and is open to the public.

The grounds of the castle near the entrance contain a timber frame house known as Castle Gates House, dating from the early 1600s. It stood in Dogpole but was dismantled and moved from there in 1696 to make way for a new brick mansion.

Due to limited space there is no car parking at the castle but it is only 100 yards from the rail station and it is not far to walk from car parks elsewhere in the town.
Telephone 01743 358516

Opening times of the museum vary according to the season and there is a small admission charge. The castle grounds are open 9am-5pm and some Sundays, admission free.

In the winter the castle is closed from mid-December to mid-February.


Spring Opening Hours
Open 10.30am until 4pm (closed Thursday and Sunday)

Summer Opening Hours
Open 10.30am until 5pm (closed Thursday)
Sundays 10.30am until 4pm

Autumn Opening Hours
Open 10.30am until 4pm (closed Thursday and Sunday)

Shropshire Regimental Museum website:

01743 262292

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