Sunday 14 August 2022

Historic Stokesay Castle


One of our outings was to beautiful Stokesay Castle. The link provides the history.  It's been years since we last went.  Keith stayed here, and I did a recce as to whether I could get him round in a wheelchair, but it's not terribly accessible - he could step through the doorway of the gatehouse, which has a step-over wooden threshold across it, but lots of stairs inside the Castle itself so not ideal.

The tower and the main part of the castle.  It wasn't too busy, so we were able to wander round at will and not have crowds of folk in the same room.

Now that's what you call a door!  

The main room of the castle with stairs to the right.  Swallows were nesting inside everywhere.

Some of the said Swallows, happy to have such a weather-proof home.

The picture below shows how it would have looked back in the day - very gracious, light and roomy.  The young fledgling Swallows were practicing their flying lessons overhead as we walked round. 

The view through lovely old hand-blown glass.

Inside the tower was this beautiful fireplace and stunning carving.

This little 17th C cradle was beautifully carved and I loved the proper "roof" at one end.  At the end, a really pretty little carved stool too. 

Lots of Swallows nesting and flying about here too.

This was my favourite view out - you can't see any in the photo but there were literally hundreds of House Martins swooping about, or clinging on to the roof or walls.  I have never seen so many together in one place and yet the Guide said there were only half the number that were there last year.  Perhaps he meant Swallows as there were SO many HM's.

Looking across the Shropshire countryside where the harvest had been gotten in early and definitely not needing to go in the drier.

Adam and Eve, who appeared in several carvings.  I was fascinated by what had been carved.

This was the facing the visitors side, and clothed for modesty's sake . . .

Adam and Eve hiding their assets here!!

This looks a bit like a Dragon with a large tongue - or flames - coming out of his mouth.

So, a lovely day out.  If you are planning to visit (RR?) go now whilst all the House Martins are still about.  They were almost the highlight of my day.

Sorry for the lack of words, but I've been up since 5 a.m. and have been hacking back the dead grass (chest high) and Rosebay Willowherb (even higher) in the orchard and I'm tired now.

Keith has had a haircut outside in the sun, but insisted on staying out longer and probably got dehydrated, although I plied him with ice-cold water and he's drunk more than usual.  He got up the steps onto the lawn too and had a walk up and down, but was careful not to overdo it.  Yesterday he hadn't been so good.  Lack of confidence on very slightly uneven surfaces again - he's completely fine on a flat floor inside a building.  Lawn is ok though, which is good.


  1. Ah, Stokesay of Shropshire, the land of my ancestors. My mum was born in Shrewsbury in 1930 and according to my cousin who has researched the family tree it goes way back into the Shropshire hills on my mother’s and grandma’s side. My maternal grandpa on the other hand is descended from the Hugenots although he himself was orphaned as a very young child and was a Dr Barnado’s boy, You certainly pick out the cream of the carvings, the little crib is enchanting. I spotted a child’s chair today, supposedly dating from 1660, in the Great Chamber of Parham House. Parham (from Pear enclosure) is a beautiful Elizabethan house, foundation stone laid in 1577 and packed with exquisite, furniture, paintings, textiles, embroideries, clocks - up there with Chastleton as one my favourite houses to visit. Still stifling hot here but no sun and I’m trying to keep cool in the garden room with doors and windows open. At least I have mostly prepped our supper, just the basil to pick for the tomato salad when I go down to water greenhouse and shut up. I am so tired of this heat now and am praying for some respite tomorrow. I can imagine that K like S looks like a mad professor when he needs a haircut. I used to give S garden (or greenhouse if it was chilly) haircuts during all the lockdowns but now thankfully he has a new hairdresser called Maggie who tidies him up much better than I ever did!
    Keep going BB, you are doing brilliantly. Sarah x

    1. For some reason my reply to you is in the middle of the page!

  2. Lovely post and brought back some memories. We did visit in May this year. There were a lot of swallows about then and some House Martins but not in the numbers you saw! Its a gorgeous place - my son and I had a day out there some years and just fell in love with the place. Such history! It was fairly quiet when we visited in May.

    1. Glad you've been there recently. I think House Martins are a couple of weeks later than Swallows to arrive on our shores. It wasn't too busy for us either.

  3. It is rather a splendid building, but they just weren't built for the less able bodied person and not much in the way of adapting such locations.
    Dehydration happens all too quickly, and I've been doing my best here too. We made the news too, for all the wrong reasons yesterday, with a major incident wildfire on the outskirts of our village. it wasn't fun shut indoors with the escalating heat and closed doors and windows.

    1. Most old houses were just built as needed so more difficult to adapt for disabled access. Hoping Keith will soon be able to walk a little further so we can explore more easily.

      Keith loves the sun - he'd have been out there for hours! At least he did drink the water quickly instead of complaining.

      Sorry you've had a major wildfire - that must have been scary. I see today you are due torrential rain, thunderstorms, and flooding!

    2. Just seen a video of that fire in the wheatfields - oh goodness, and those poor firemen, in heavy clothing, RUNNING to keep on top of it. They deserve a medal.

    3. I know, my Dad used to be a volunteer fireman in the days of navy blue suits! He attended many such incidents. Heroes one and all.

  4. We checked out property in Shropshire too, but nothing that particularly took our fancy - all the ones we liked were Bridgenorth way and we felt that was too far from the kids.

    Shropshire roots are good things to have - it is a lovely county to explore and you have the perfect excuse. My friend Annie from Uni was descended from Huguenot weavers, and she was very craft orientated, and a stalwart of the local Spinning and Weaving group.

    Will look up interiors of Parham House and Chastleton. I made sure to take lots of photos of furniture when out and about, for Keith.

    I've cut Keith's hair for many years now and he always tells me when he thinks it is getting too long.

    I don't know about doing brilliantly, some days are such a struggle, but I carry on..

  5. Oh, I was so excited, thinking that I'd been there...but I hadn't. I was getting it mixed up with Bolsover Castle, a place with the wonderful leaded glass. It was a windy day and the upstairs creaked and moved in the wind as if it would fall down...yet it had stood for hundreds of years. But Stokesay Castle was so familiar, and I couldn't think why...until I went to bed. Then I had it. I had to haul myself out of bed to tell you. We have a Stokesay Castle in Reading (

    We took my children and grandson there as a Christmas gift. I had boar with a wild berry sauce and the wine was good. It was quite a magical night.

    I probably have a comment in your spam folder. Ignore it, because I was dead wrong

  6. Hi Debby, Your Stokesay Castle looks a bit different, but the only meals on offer at ours were insects for the birds, as they were clearly well fed! Haven't been to Bolsover Castle but it sounds very atmospheric.

  7. Replies
    1. I feel that way about Tretower Court. Both special places.

  8. Great photos of what looks like a great place
    Alison in Wales x

    1. It's certainly worth visiting if you are in the Ludlow area.