#40 Stokesay Castle
Shropshire, England
This is NOT an official Lego site

While the most famous owner of Stokesay was Lawrence of Ludlow, the leading wool merchant in the Welsh Marches, with headquarters in nearby Shrewsbury, this fortified manor house was named because it was the "stoches" (dairy farm) entrusted to the de Say family, who were tenants during the first half of the 13th century. When the owner, Walter de Lacy, died in 1241, the de Say's moved to Ireland, trading the estate to John de Verdon, husband of one of de Lacy's two granddaughters for property in Ireland. The new owner may have begun building the current castle as early as 1250, but it was Lawrence of Ludlow who purchased the estate in 1281 and received the license to crenellate in 1291, apparently when the building was complete. Lawrence had greatly expanded the selling of fine wools of the Anglo-Welsh marches, and was one of the wealthiest men in the British Isles.  As he moved his family from Ludlow to Stokesay, in an era when there were no banks, he needed to protect his property and cash from potential vandals.  So in addition to the manor, tower and stone gatehouse, he constructed a 30 foot tall curtain wall around the courtyard. When Lawrence died in a storm on the English Channel in 1294, the castle and estate passed to his family, who lived and thrived there until 1498, when Sir Richard Ludlow died, leaving his estates again to two granddaughters!
Through 16 year old granddaughter Anne's marriage to Thomas Vernon, Stokesay stayed in the Vernon family for 100 years.  It was then purchased by sir George Mainwaring, who in turn sold it to the widow of London's former Lord Mayor, Dame Elizabeth Craven in 1620.  It was her son, William, who in 1639-41 replaced the stone gatehouse with the iconic, timber-framed gatehouse which is so famous today.  When in the next year the Civil War broke out, William may have regretted his change, as the negotiated peace with the Parliamentarians included demolition of the tall stone curtain wall.  Within weeks the Royalists retook Stokesay, with major damage to the farm but little to the castle. Over the next two hundred years, tenants ceased to actually live at Stokesay, and the fortified manor deteriorated.  Happily various restoration efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries saved the castle, and Stokesay, about 8 miles from the Welsh border, has been open to the public since 1908.  It is well worth a visit, as my pictures [most of these] from our 2015 visit will attest!

1640 Gatehouse from courtyard Residential Block South Tower with wife Judy Shropshire countryside from
roof of South Tower
Ground Floor Plan
with additions
First and Second
Floor Plans
Model by JP Editions


Photos of the Lego Model
Built November 1991
Northeast View
West View
Gatehouse View


Build Your Own
Lego Plan
West Elevation

Other Stokesay Castle pages:

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Castles created by Robert Carney
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Robert Carney