Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

The largely rural county of Shropshire is located along the Welsh border and has long been shaped by its borderland status. Offa’s Dyke passes through the county, having probably been built in the 8th century to control crossings between the English kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh territories to the west. Following the emergence of England as a unified state, the area became home to Anglo-Norman Marcher Lords eager to expand their influence over Wales, leading to the emergence of Shropshire castles like those at Clun, Ludlow, and Whittington. The county also has an older heritage, and prehistoric remains include stone circles like the Hoarstones and Mitchell’s Fold as well as hillforts on Coxall Knoll and Bury Ditches. When the Roman armies were here, they established a key settlement at Viroconium Cornoviorum, a town now known as Wroxeter.

Archaeology & History Sites in Shropshire

Clun Castle

On a natural rocky hill in a loop of the Clun River is the strategically located Clun Castle. Built soon after the Norman Conquest, it remained steadfast until the 14th century despite numerous attacks from the Welsh. In the 14th century it became a hunting lodge and soon thereafter fell into disrepair. By the 16th century Clun Castle was in ruins, and the events of the English Civil War did not help its prospects either. Renovations at the end of the 19th century saved what remained, and ensured the ruins stand today.

Whittington Castle

Whittington Castle is unique in that it is the only castle in the United Kingdom to be owned and managed by a local community. A preservation trust was established to restore and maintain this strikingly picturesque castle, thought to have been constructed within the earthworks of a prehistoric hill fort. Whittington Castle is on the English side of Offa’s Dyke – here visitors will see a 12th century Marcher Norman Castle and its gatehouse, with a later Elizabethan addition – which now houses the gift shop.

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Museums & Art Galleries in Shropshire

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