History

 

Alberbury sits upon a gentle rise overlooking the floodplain of the River Severn in close proximity to the English/Welsh border. At the time of the Norman Conquest it was a small settlement and fell within the domain of Roger de Montgomery who granted it to Roger Fitz Corbett. His caput was at Caus Castle, some four miles to the south, prompting him to assign a Keeper, Roger the Fat, to look after his interests in Alberbury. It is possible that Ralph or his successor, Fulk Fitz Warine, established some form of earth and timber fortification at the site. Certainly Fulk launched an attack on nearby Ruyton Castle in 1148 and would have needed some form of base from which to prepare. Whatever structure existed on the site, it was replaced by a stone castle around 1220 by Fulk's grandson, who was also called Fulk, probably in response to the growing power of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (the Great). The upgrades may not have been completed by 1223 when Alberbury was attacked by the Welsh Prince and the castle burnt.

 

Alberbury Castle was a two-storey rectangular Tower Keep - a type of fortification popular during the fourteenth century and evident in other nearby structures such as Clun, Hopton and Wattlesborough castles. The ground floor consisted of storage facilities whilst the level above hosted the Great Hall and the private chambers. It was constructed from Alberbury breccia, a locally sourced stone. Sandstone ashlar was used for features such as windows and corbels. The changing relationship with Wales, including its conquest by Edward I, saw modifications to the structure to enhance comfort at the expense of defence most notably by widening the windows. A substantial curtain wall is actually an eighteenth century folly added to enhance the castle's appearance in the landscaped grounds of Loton Hall.

 

The Fitz Warine family retained the Lordship of Alberbury until at least 1347 when Fulk Glas was reported as the owner. Thereafter ownership of the castle becomes unclear and it is not certain how long it was occupied for. A map dated 1579 shows it was still roofed and was possibly used as an outbuilding or lodge associated with a late-sixteenth century hall which preceded Loton Park Hall. By the eighteenth century the castle was roofless.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Anderson, J.C (1864). Shropshire its Early History and Antiquities. London

Fry, P.S (1980). Castles of the British Isles. David and Charles.

Garner, L (1985). Shropshire: A Shire County Guide. Shire Publications.

Historic England (2015). Alberbury Castle, List entry 1020662. Historic England, London.

Jackson, M (1988). Castles of Shropshire, Shropshire Libraries. Shrewsbury.

King, C.D.J (1983). Castellarium anglicanum: an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands.  Kraus International Publications.

Page, W (1908). A History of Shropshire Volume 1. University of London, London.

Pettifer, A (1995). English Castles, A guide by counties. Boydell Press, Woodbridge.

Salter, M (2001). The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire. Folly Publications, Malvern.

Timmins, H.T (1899). Nooks and Corners of Shropshire. London.

Wheatley, J.G and Jefferson, D (1998). Alberbury Castle, Shropshire.

What's There?

Alberbury Castle is a ruined thirteenth century Tower Keep fortification. The remains are within the privately owned Loton Park which has no public access but the structure can be seen from the surrounding roads.

Alberbury Castle. The castle was a Tower Keep, a type of fortification popular in the border region during the thirteenth century.

Cross.

Church of St Michael. Parts of St Michael's church date back to the twelfth century and accordingly would have pre-dated the castle ruins seen today. The church was extensively rebuilt during the eighteenth century.

ALBERBURY CASTLE

Alberbury Castle was raised in the thirteenth century due to fears over the growing power of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. It took the form of a Tower Keep fortification and was attacked by the Welsh on at least one occasion. It was later incorporated into the Loton Park estate.

Getting There

Alberbury Castle is found just off the B4393 to the west of Shrewsbury.

Car Parking Option

B4393, SY5 9AG

52.722235N 2.950610W

Alberbury Castle

No Postcode

52.723442N 2.951991W