Stokesay Castle (1), Craven Arms, Shropshire
Stokesay Castle is a late 13th century fortified manor house with a 17th century timber-framed gatehouse and is said to be the finest and best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England.
This view shows the gatehouse with the South Tower of the manor house visible beyond on the left.
The Great Hall and South Tower of the manor house. The building took the form of a solar block and hall attached to a northern and southern tower; this combination of hall and tower was not uncommon in England in the 13th century.
The external staircase gives access to both the South Tower and the Solar.
Great Hall has remained unchanged for more than 700 years. The timber roof and staircase, with treads cut from whole tree trunks, all show the same carpenters' mark from 1291. The shuttered windows were described as letting light flood in but it also let cold air flood in the winter.
The walls in the South Tower were built to contain the stairs and garderobes. In this room in the South Tower there is a staircase to the roof, giving amazing views, but the staircase is easily missed as it starts in one of the window alcoves and cannot be seen until one is nearly into the alcove.
The three-storey North Tower is reached by a 13th-century staircase in the hall which leads onto the first floor.The walls of the second floor are mostly half-timbered which are jettied above the stone walls beneath them.
The top floor of the North Tower showing the timber-frame construction.
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