Moreton Corbet castle
Moreton Corbet Castle is an English Heritage property located near the village of Moreton Corbet, Shropshire, England. It is a Grade I listed building . The ruins are from two different eras: a medieval stronghold and an Elizabethan era manor house. The buildings have been out of use since the 18th century.

History

Medieval Stronghold
In 1086 two Anglo Saxon thegns, Hunning and Wulfgeat, were living at Moreton Corbet. Perhaps they had a fortified structure here. By the early thirteenth century they had been replaced by another Englishman, Toret. His descendant Peter Toret was lord of Moreton Corbet by 1166 and it is likely that he was living in the castle. In February 1216 William Marshall stormed Moreton Corbet castle on behalf of King John of England against Bartholomew Toret. At this time the castle was known as Moreton Toret Castle. In 1235 Bartholomew died and Richard de Corbet, his son-in-law, inherited the castle and changed its name to Moreton Corbet. The castle next saw action in the English Civil War when the castle changed hands at least four times. Moreton Corbet remains the property of the Corbet family to this day.

Elizabethan House
In the 16th century, Andrew Corbet made many alterations to the gatehouse and the perimeter wall. When he died in 1579, his son, Robert Corbet, influenced by the classical architecture overseas he had seen in his role as a diplomat, set about building a new mansion. Unfortunately, he died of the plague in 1583 . After his death, his two brothers, Richard and Vincent Corbet, carried on with the building of the new manor, and leaving what was left of the original fortification.

Civil War
During the English Civil War, Moreton Castle was used as part of Royalist Shrewsbury's defence. The castle was under siege on more than one occasion, and badly damaged in the fighting. At one time, the castle was captured by just ten parliamentary troops. It was finally taken from what amounted to a 'home guard' force by a crack Parliamentarian regiment.

The Ruins
The castle today consists of a fine rectangular keep of two stories and a basement. It is difficult to date such structures and it could be as old as the eleventh century, although it more likely belongs to the twelfth . The tower was much used and rebuilt, finally becoming a storehouse for the sixteenth century house. It was still inhabited about 1700. From the keep an irregular and much rebuilt curtain wall ran to a rectangular gatetower which was much rebuilt in the sixteenth century. Between this and the later mansion a mid-sixteenth century hall was built . All the masonry is much pock-marked by musket shot from the Civil War.

Current status
Although repaired after the Civil War, the buildings fell into disuse during the 18th century, and were partially demolished. They are still owned by the Corbet Family, but managed by English Heritage. The family moved to Acton Reynald Hall in about 1800.

Haunting
It is said the grounds are haunted by the ghost of Paul Holmyard. He was a Puritan, who at the time of their persecution, was given protection by Vincent Corbet. But as the Puritans became more fanatical, Vincent Corbet felt he could no longer provide protection, and Paul Holmyard was forced to leave. Paul Holmyard took shelter in the nearby woods. One day, when Vincent Corbet was planning some more building work, Paul Holmyard appeared and put a curse on him. From that day, Vincent Corbet never lived in the building again.

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com