Hopton Heath – Hopton Castle Walk – 16.06.2011

We were staying in Hopton Heath, in Shropshire the day before our big hike. We took the opportunity to take a short walk to explore this beautiful area while the sun was shining in the evening.

It was obvious we had left behind all evidence of suburban life.  The roads were no longer busy and the rush of people had disappeared.     Despite the lack of pavements on our walk, we were able to walk along the lanes quite safely – and enjoy the views as well.

From 2011 -16.06.2011 – Hopton Heath – Hopton Castle Walk

We had decided to walk to Hopton Castle.  Although there were no official Tourist signs to Hopton Castle – we presumed there would be a castle at the end of the trail and not just a village! (fingers crossed!)

As we had no idea how long we had to walk, so it was just nice to stroll along and take in the sights. Particularly as we both knew we started our hike the next day and would both be carrying large rucksacks – we were free of any of that clutter on this occasion :-).

As we reached a corner in the road, a castle loomed into view. From what I could see, the outside of the castle looked reasonably intact. So we ventured on, hoping we could find a way in. We then discovered we had actually entered the village of “Hopton Castle”. A tiny village, which seemed to have a few houses and a church – all overlooking this wonderful castle.

Hopton Castle had just had renovation works, which enabled us to access the castle, which had just been finished! It seems for the first time in all of our walks, we had found something which had completely renovated and not something which had just been started! (like most of our seaside walks!)

From 2011 -16.06.2011 – Hopton Heath – Hopton Castle Walk

The Castle is not elaborate in style. It looked like it stood tall and dominating once to all the surrounding areas. As we drew closer, we could see that there perhaps was a surrounding moat or perhaps other buildings that were once connected to the castle – as there were definitely strangely shaped ditches that did not look natural!

The Castle has quite a history behind it, and it is even mentioned in the Domesday Book. If this castle was steeped in such history, would there have been a castle long ago when there was a struggle for the English-Welsh Border? When the King Of Mercia built Offa’s Dyke – but that for the moment is speculation… The Castle, was definitely at the heart of a Siege during the English Civil War

During 17th Century Hopton Castle had been inherited by Robert Wallop, who had been a Parliamentarian and a judge at the trial of Charles I – It must be noted that he had not one of the signatories to the King’s death warrant. The Royalists wanted to take this castle which lay in what was really a “Royalist” Shropshire. The Royalists lay siege to the Castle, and despite, losing a considerable number of soldiers and leaving the castle in what must have looked a like a retreat at one point – The Royalists returned with heavy artillery, including 3 large siege guns. The occupants of the Castle eventually surrendered.

From 2011 -16.06.2011 – Hopton Heath – Hopton Castle Walk

When we looked inside the castle, it was had to picture what all those soldiers had been defending. But it was worthwhile to visit, as it has been beautifully looked after. Very inspirational to an artist or writer I should imagine, I could definitely sit and paint there. In fact, one writer Kevin Crossley-Holland has already based his Arthur Trilogy around Hopton and Shropshire.

At this point, we decided to leave the castle behind and return back to our place of rest for the night – we needed to rest up ready for the next’s day walk….

For all the Photos for the walk Please click here –

2011 -16.06.2011 – Hopton Heath – Hopton Castle Walk

For the walking route we took click here. 🙂

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One response to “Hopton Heath – Hopton Castle Walk – 16.06.2011

  1. Pingback: Offa’s Dyke Path – Carreg-y-big – Wern Isaf « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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