Shropshire History




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Between 1154-1485, Shropshire was ruled by the Plantaganet kings. The name describes a sprig of broom, which was the crest of the Angevin kings, and is derived from the Latin planta (sprig) and genista (broom).



1154 – Henry II becomes king.


1155 – Henry II begins to take over many of the baronial castles that had been in rebel hands during the civil war, including Cleobury Castle and Bridgnorth Castle which were owned by Hugh de Mortimer. Cleobury was destroyed and Bridgnorth retained as a royal stronghold.


1189 – Richard I becomes king.


1192 – Richard I was captured on his way back from the Crusades and ransomed for 150,000 Marks.  Part of this was supplied from silver mined at the Carregwfa Mine near Llanymynech.


1195 - Clun Castle was stormed and burnt by the Welsh rebel leader, Prince Rhys. At that time, the castle was still built of timber so it was rebuilt in stone.


1199 – King John is crowned but opposed by many Shropshire nobles, leading to 17 years of revolt.  Raids by the Welsh continued.


1215 - Shrewsbury Castle was captured by the Welsh Prince Llywelyn.


1216 - King John captured the castles at Clun and Oswestry which were then held by the Fitz-Alan family. Following a demand from the king for a fee of 10,000 marks to inherit their land, John Fitz Alan revolted and seized Clun Castle and Oswestry Castle.  King John attacked and burned Oswestry and seized Clun Castle in a surprise attack. Henry III becomes king.


1217 – After the death of King John, John Fitz Alan paid King Henry III the 10,000 marks to inherit their lands.


1220 - Robert Corbett conferred on Shrewsbury Abbey a tithe of his lead from the mine at Shelve.


1223 - Whittington Castle was captured by the Welsh. At this time the castle would have been much easier to besiege as the building of the curtain wall and towers of the inner bailey had not been completed.


1234 - Shrewsbury Castle was again captured by the Welsh Prince Llywelyn.


1238 – A Parliament held at Acton Burnell which passed the famous “Statute of Acton Burnell”.


1255 – The Shropshire barons revolted against the King and captured Ellesmere Castle and Bishop's Castle.


1260 - licence was granted to dig coal in the Clee Hills


1263 - Bishops Castle was stormed by John Fitz Alan, who occupied it for 16 weeks


1264 - Ludlow and Shrewsbury were both held for a year by Simon de Montfort.


1272 – Edward I becomes king.


1282 – Welsh rebels captured Rowton Castle.


1283 - A Parliament was held at Shrewsbury for the trial of David ap Gruffyd, Prince of Wales. He was executed for treason against Edward.


1291 - the abbot of Wigmore received the profits of a coal mine at Caynham.


1292 - Fulk Lestrange claimed the right of holding pleas of the crown in Wrockworthyn.


1307 – Edward II becomes king.


1327 – Edward III becomes king.


1343 - Shropshire wool was rated at a higher value than that of almost any other English county. Buildwas monastery exported wool to the Italian markets. Shropshire had never been distinguished for any characteristic manufactures but a prosperous clothing trade arose about Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth.


1377 – Richard II becomes king.


1379 - Welshmen were forbidden to buy land in the county except on certain conditions and this enactment was reinforced in 1400.


1379 - The men of Shropshire forwarded to parliament a complaint of the felonies committed by the men of Cheshire and of the Welsh marches. They declared the jail of Shrewsbury Castle to be in such a ruinous condition that they had no place of imprisonment for the offenders when captured.


1398 - Parliament was summoned to meet at Shrewsbury.


1399 – Henry IV becomes king.


1403 - During the Percy rebellion Shrewsbury was the site of a battle between the Lancastrian Henry IV and Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur) of Northumberland. The Battle of Shrewsbury was fought on 21st July 1403 at what is now Battlefield, just to the north of present day Shrewsbury. The battle resulted in the death of Henry Percy and a victory to King Henry IV, who established a chapel at the site to commemorate the fallen.


1413 – Henry V becomes king.


1422 –Henry VI becomes king.


1442 - Act passed for the protection of Shropshire against the Welsh.


1455 – War of the Roses began.


1459 - Following the Battle of Bore Heath in Staffordshire, Ludlow Castle was plundered and taken by the Lancastrian forces.


1461 – Battle of Mortimer’s Cross results in removal of Henry VI and crowning of Edward IV as king.


1470 – Henry VI restored as king.


1471 – Following his restoration to the throne, Edward IV created the Court of the Marches.  This was run by his son as Prince of Wales with a council to assist and was intended to curb the power of the Lords Marchers and secure justice for the Welsh.


1483 – Edward V becomes king for a short period and then replaced by Richard III.


1485 - Henry, Earl of Richmond, slept at Shrewsbury on the way to the Battle of Bosworth.  Richard III killed and Henry VII becomes king.



Discovering Shropshire’s History


Elizabeth Plantagenet a Lost Medieval Princess


Plantagenet England


Saxon Norman and Plantaganet Coinage of Wales




Gazetteer of Sites


There are several churches in Shropshire that were built during this period. Go to the Churches page and they can be identified by the date, which will be between the 12th and 15th Centuries.


Acton Burnell Castle (SJ534019)


Alderbury Castle (SJ355146)


Apley Castle (SJ655132)


Broncroft Castle (SO544868)


Bryn Amlwg Castle (SO16748460)


Cheney Longville Castle (SO417847)


Dawley Castle (SJ688078)


Ercall Hall (SJ594174)


Leigh Hall (SJ333036)


Llwyd Mansion (SJ291295)


Longford Hall (SJ728182)


Longnor Hall (SJ485005)


Madeley Court (SJ695051)


Myddle Castle (SJ468235)


Red Castle (SJ571294)


Ruyton Castle (SJ394221)


Shrawardine Castle (SJ401154)


Stokesay Castle (SO436817)


Tong Castle (SJ792069)


Wattlesborough Castle (SJ35511262)