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Ruyton-XI-Towns Castle

Past Work

Client:- Ruyton-XI-Towns Heritage Group, Shropshire

Project:-  Ruyton-XI-Towns Castle Project (HLF)

Design & Interpretation for 2 display panels & one leaflet within ST John The Baptist church yard, Ruyton-XI-Towns

Ruyton Castle was built in the first half of the twelfth century by John le Strange upon a steeply sided promontory to the south of the River Parry. It was probably originally an earth and timber fortification with a tower or ringwork located at the western end of the promontory whilst the bailey extended along the ridge to the east. The castle was one of a line of Marcher Lordships that defended against Welsh incursions with a further two, Ellesmere and Knockin, also owned by the le Strange family. A town was founded to the west of the castle, replacing an earlier settlement, and became known as Ruyton XI Towns, the unusual name because it served as the manorial centre for eleven local townships; Coton, Eardiston, Felton, Haughton, Rednal, Ruyton, Shelvock, Shotatton, Sutton, Tedsmore and Wykey.

Ruyton Castle was still a functional residence in 1357 but was abandoned shortly afterwards as a record dated 1364 describes the site as ruinous. Thereafter the castle’s stonework was robbed for other uses including construction of the church tower. The town itself also went into decline and in 1407 lost its market. By the nineteenth century a cottage had been built within the ruined castle keep and this was occupied until the late nineteenth century when it was demolished and the grounds became part of the church graveyard.