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Bridgnorth Castle

Castle 1275

Bridgnorth Castle falls into the category of “we know it existed but it’s difficult to demonstrate such from what lingers today”. The keep is the obvious manifestation but even how it fitted into the overall plan is not certain. The general line of the castle wall had to follow the hilltop, but its make-up and height is a complete unknown. Otherwise, the castle main gate’s ground plan at Postern Gate / the Post Office is known to us, sitting just below the road tarmac, and an exceedingly small section of curtain walling exists at the rear of the White Lion PH. A moat was exposed in front of the keep during the TimeTeam programme and we know of the existence of a few buildings but their shape and placements can only be conjectural. We know of the existence of the King’s Compound: its wall, the Hall, King & Queen’s chamber block, plus the private chapel and St Mary’s collegiate castle church.

The castle looking southwards featuring the outer bailey nearest. 

The castle was composed of two parts called baileys. The inner bailey used the footprint of the original 1101 castle and stretched from the existing keep tower down past the bandstand. The inner bailey’s gate was retained when the subsequent outer bailey was attached in front. It occupied the area up to Bank Street and was where the first town materialised. The castle’s (and outer bailey’s) main gate, its north gate, features in the bottom left corner.



The inner bailey featuring the King’s Compound, Hall, King & Queen’s chamber block, the King’s private chapel and gardens. St Mary’s collegiate castle church is to the left, the keep, inner bailey entrance gate and stables are showing to the right.

Timber oriel stairs and veranda to the Queen’s chamber block. To the left is the pigeon dovecote and towards us is the low height King’s compound wall.

The keep and inner bailey entrance gate viewed from the south

The bridge to the castle’s main gate. Made up of a fixed timber causeway (to the left) and a bottom hinged drawbridge.  The inner bailey gate’s bridge is assumed to be a fixed affair only, as befitting its earlier inception.

The only tower added to the outer bailey. A component of the foundations “discovered” by TimeTeam but may equally have been a building attached to the wall. Wall (mural) towers were still rare when the bailey was constructed in the 12th century.