Travels with an Eriba
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Travels in Shropshire
S hropshire is a county bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Our visit was centred on the southern part of the county, which has no large towns, and a landscape differing greatly from that of North Shropshire. The area is dominated by significant hill ranges and river valleys, woods, pine forests and "batches", a colloquial term for small valleys and other natural features. Farming here is more pastoral than in the arable land found in the north of the county.
Map of Shropshire
Set in a peaceful Shropshire valley near the Welsh border, Stokesay Castle was built in the 1280s by the rich wool merchant Laurence of Ludlow. It's one of the finest surviving fortified manor houses in England. Today it forms an picturesque ensemble of 13th-century towers, a magnificent great hall and 17th-century gatehouse, which is the only substantial addition made to its fabric since the late 13th century. The Castle is in the hamlet of Stokesay, just south of Craven Arms.
- Almost everything visible at Stokesay today was built in the 1280s and 1290s
- The only substantial later addition is the picturesque gatehouse, built in 1640–41.
- Among Stokesay’s many treasures are its medieval staircase and tiled floor, and a richly carved 17th-century chamber (the Solar).
- In the Great Hall, unchanged for more than 700 years, the timber staircase has treads cut from whole tree trunks, They show the carpenters' mark from 1291.
- In the 19th century the castle was sympathetically repaired and preserved thanks to the enlightened efforts of early conservationists.
A Video Tour