Shirburn Castle

Shirburn Castle is at the village of Shirburn, 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Thame, Oxfordshire.

Shirburn Castle was the seat of the Earls of Macclesfield. George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield (c.1695–1764), celebrated as an astronomer, spent much time conducting astronomical observations at Shirburn Castle, which his father had bought in 1716. Here he built an observatory and a chemical laboratory. In 1761 the astronomer Thomas Hornsby observed the transit of Venus from the castle grounds.

The present owner of the castle is the Beechwood Estates Company, the Macclesfield family estate management company. Following a long-running and acrimonious court battle, the 9th Earl of Macclesfield, Richard Timothy George Mansfield Parker, was evicted from the family seat at the end of 2004 and the castle currently stands unoccupied.


  • Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sherwood, Jennifer (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp. 761–763. ISBN 0 14 071045 0.