Hopton Castle

Hopton Castle

On the southern edge of Shropshire sits Hopton Castle. Once a crumbling ruin, Hopton Castle has been lovingly and painstakingly conserved and researched by Hopton Castle Preservation Trust with help from archaeologists, building historians and Channel 4’s Time Team.

Inside Hopton Castle.
Inside Hopton Castle.
Looking up in Hopton Castle.
Looking up in Hopton Castle.
Windows in Hopton Castle.
Windows in Hopton Castle.
Doorways and windows. in Hopton Castle.
Doorways and windows.

Having passed the brown tourist sign for Hopton Castle many times, we finally decided to visit one warm spring day in April. The castle can be found on the edge of the village of the same name. Entry is free (although donations are welcome), but be aware there is limited parking at the castle.

Hopton Castle

The view from Hopton Castle.
The view from Hopton Castle.

Stone rubble outside Hopton Castle.

The side of Hopton Castle.

Hopton Castle is said to have been built in the early 1300s on the site of a former Norman motte and bailey castle. You’ll notice from my photos that this doesn’t seem to be a big castle, it’s perhaps more of a medieval tower house and built by Walter de Hopton, a wealthy and influential man. The castle, or tower, has seen action though. A rare eye-witness account reporting events as they unfolded survives, it tells of how 31 Parliamentarians held out for five weeks against an army of Royalist soldiers in 1644, during the English Civil War.

The rear of Hopton Castle.

The rear of Hopton Castle.

The pool behind Hopton Castle.
The pool behind Hopton Castle.

Despite being in a rural area, Hampton Castle seems quite popular. We visited just after lunch (Fiddlers Elbow Fish & Chips, Leintwardine – just 4.5 miles down the road) and a campervan pulled up in the car park just before us. Then within a few minutes, a group of ramblers arrived on foot.

If you’re in the area and are looking for other castles to visit, these are worth checking out:
Clun Castle (6.5 miles)
Stokesay Castle (7.5 miles)
Ludlow Castle (12 miles)
Croft Castle and Parkland (15 miles)
Montgomery Castle (21 miles)
Powis Castle (26.5 miles)

34 comments

  1. Hi Nikki,

    We have quite a few castle ruins around this area, although most of them are administered by English Heritage, so they are far from free to view, which is a bit of a shame.

    Literally a couple of miles away, we have Nunney Castle, once again an English Heritage site, but actually free to walk around. Situated in a quaint village complete with river, bridges and an old jailhouse, you would think that this wonderful building, dating from the 1300s would be safe – but no! Yobs have destroyed or removed all of the EH signage and spent many nights under the cover of darkness, removing stones out of the castle walls and dumping them in the moat!

    https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/nunney-castle/

    I really do despair sometimes!

    Hopton castle looks to be really well preserved and loved and I have copied your list to keep with us when we are off on our travels, as we always like to look for different places to visit.

    Thanks for sharing and take care xx

    • Nikki says:

      Due to living by the Wales/England border, we have quite a few castle ruins in the area, a number of which are free to explore.

      It’s awful when yobs damage these historic places.

  2. Ooo this is the sort of place I used to love exploring as a kid! I’d really like to visit here. My parents lived in Shropshire for a while and I still have cousins there now, so I’ll have to see whether they’ve been. I’m glad you got to check it out eventually – I always regret when I look back at things I’ve seen signs for or places I’ve walked past but never went to. Shame the parking’s limited but at least there’s a little else to explore nearby too, and a chippy afterwards doesn’t sound too bad. Yum! Great write-up and fab photos xx

  3. Carol says:

    I’m fascinated by castle ruins and castles in general. No real castles in the US. I’ve enjoyed Time Team on Amazon and hope they did a show about this castle. Beautiful skies too.

  4. Kelly says:

    Wonderful post that makes me wish I was there! When visiting a site like this, do you ever wonder about those throughout history who might have looked out the windows at the same hills you’re seeing? It appears you had a lovely day for a visit.

    • Nikki says:

      Yes, I love to imagine what these places were like back in the day. I’m sure many of the views from the castle haven’t changed.

  5. Jo says:

    We’re so lucky to live in a country with so much history all around us. The organisations keeping these buildings in such good condition are doing a sterling job.

  6. Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of Hopton Castle, and some if its history! It’ll go straight on our list for next year’s holiday. After all, I already visited all the others you mentioned, some of them even twice! xxx

  7. Marty says:

    Good lord, the 1300’s. It’s incredible any of it is still standing and yet it is. Fascinating and the surrounding area looks so beautiful.

    I’d love some fish and chips now, thanks to this post of yours! 😉

  8. Kris P says:

    Relics like that interest me greatly. Castles aren’t something you see here, unless you count Hearst Castle, which was developed between 1919 and 1947 by a wealthy businessman that owned a newspaper chain. I understand it’s currently on the market for nearly $90M US but I won’t give any odds on it being purchased for the purposes of historical preservation.

  9. Lisa says:

    We have a ruined castle just down the road from us and we still haven’t visited it yet! There’s something about old castles, isn’t there? Love your photos, especially the last one!

  10. Anca says:

    It looks amazing. After all the lockdowns it must feel strange to visit again, isn’t it? I’ve been to an event last Friday and it was curious, even though it was an yearly event I’ve been to many times before.
    Love the pictures!

  11. I enjoy visiting ruins!
    When in Ireland many years ago, we toured Neolithic sites, and old churches and abbeys. When in the UK a few years ago, only managed to visit Avebury.

  12. jeanie says:

    It looks like they did a terrific job preserving this castle. I’ve never seen anything quite like that — certainly not here! We’re such youngsters! What wonderful photos, Nikki.

  13. Tilly says:

    I love old castles well any old building, all that history. Just to stand quietly and imagine all the people that have made lives or worked there, fantastic.

  14. Sophie says:

    There’s something amazing about exploring old ruins, it’s a shame when you think about how incredible they must have been once upon a time though. Sounds like a lovely day out!

  15. Aimsy says:

    Oh, I love exploring old ruins and castles. We are lucky there are so many here in the UK, aren’t we? We have Kirkstall Abbey near to us, and that is just great to have a wander around!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  16. The eeriness and mysticism around the ruins of historical buildings is just so mesmerising. In India, we don’t have castles but we do have historical architecture and their ruins, dilapidated through time and the moment you enter the area, you can’t stop thinking about the people who lived their, their stories and how they departed from these places. It’s such an emotional roller coaster ride in just handful of seconds.

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