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Tamworth Castle | by ell brown
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Tamworth Castle

This is the historic Tamworth Castle in Tamworth, Staffordshire.


Dates from the 11th century (rebuild by the Normans). Was home of the Mercian kings (9th and 10th centuries).


The castle is Grade I listed.


Tamworth Castle, Tamworth





670-1/9/75 (East side)

11/05/50 Tamworth Castle

(Formerly Listed as:


The Castle)




Castle, now museum. Late C11 motte and bailey castle; rebuilt

C12,early C13 repairs or reconstruction; C12-C13 north wing,

probably with 1st floor hall; early C15 hall range; C16

warder's lodge; early C17 south wing; c1800 alterations. Stone

rubble with ashlar and brick with ashlar dressings; tile and

flat lead roofs. Shell keep with north-east tower with

warden's lodge to south, and later ranges forming H-plan

house. Curtain walls have embattled parapets. Tower has

battered base, flat buttresses and rounded turrets; C14

two-light traceried window and top window with label mould

over 3 round-headed lights with transom. Warder's house to

left has C14 pointed entrance in canted bay under gable; late

C16 double-chamfered-mullioned windows of 3 and 4 lights.

South wing has c1800 facade; ashlar; ground floor windows of 3

pointed lights; 5- and 7-light 1st floor windows with

transoms, similar 3-light windows to 2nd floor. North range

has 2 square projections forming bases of bay windows

demolished c1800; 3-light transomed windows in splayed

surrounds with brattishing; 6-light and 3-light windows above;

similar windows to right, with French window, and to left,

over corbelled base to oriel. Inner court has warder's lodge

to south east: 2 storeys with attic; renewed

double-chamfered-mullioned windows with leaded glazing; coped

gable with kneelers. South range: brick with ashlar dressings;

2 storeys; 2-window range; quoins, plinth, platt bands and C19

embattled parapet; entrance to right in doorcase with

4-centred head, remains of paired pilasters to entablature

with cresting and armorial panel; ground floor has 3-light

windows with pegged casements; 1st floor 4-light transomed

ovolo-mullioned windows; 2nd floor has 3-light

double-chamfered-mullioned windows. Hall has brick plinth,

exposed wall post and large C17 wood-mullioned and transomed

windows with leaded glazing, forming glazed wall; stair turret

to right has 2-light hollow-chamfered-mullioned windows; east

end of north range mostly brick; blocked 1st floor door to

west end.

INTERIOR: hall has tie beam and double collar trusses with

struts and wind braces, ovolo-mouldings with fillets to posts

and soffits of trusses; enriched doorcases and fireplace with

Mannerist detail, moved from house in Kent, c1822.

Tudor-headed main entrance with studded door. Closed-well

stair to north wing, which has 3 rooms with fireplace and

doorcases from house in Kent. South wing has two 1st floor

rooms with C17 panelling and contemporary fireplaces with

pilasters and entablatures and enriched overmantels, one with

flanking figures and relief carving of biblical scenes;

armorial panels, c1800. Warder's house has similar 1st floor

room with panelling and fireplace overmantel. Tower has stair

with strapwork panels and top splat balusters; room with

panelling and Tudor-arched fireplace. The castle has been

inhabited since the Norman conquest, with a break in the mid

C19, when it was used in connection with the nearby mills

(dem); it was bought by the local council in 1897 and opened

to the public. James I stayed at the castle; Sir Walter Scott

referred to it in his poem Marmion.

(Ballard E: Tamworth Castle Museum: Tamworth: 1987-; The

Archaeological Journal: Meeson R: The Timber Frame of the Hall

at Tamworth Castle, Staffs: London: 1983-; Buildings of

England: Pevsner N: Staffordshire: London: 1974-: P. 277-8).



Listing NGR: SK2061303913

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Taken on March 10, 2012