CLUN CASTLE

Clun is on the A488 in Shropshire, 7 miles north of Knighton and 9 miles west of Craven Arms.
The castle is on the western side of the town, on the north bank of the river Clun.
SO 298808

Article adapted by Hugh Wood from one by Paul Remfry
For more information and photographs see
http://www.castles99.ukprint.com/Essays/clun.html
http://www.castlewales.com/clun.html

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Photo: Andrew Tivenan

Clun castle stands on the diminutive River Clun in the Marches of Shropshire. The castle was probably first built by Robert ‘Picot' Say on land previously owned by Edric Silvaticus. The history of the ownership of the castle is not easy to determine as the genealogy of the Say family is notoriously difficult. When William Boterel, the husband of Isabella Say, died in 1199 the castle passed to the FitzAlans. John FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel (d1272) married Isabel Mortimer (d1292) and on his death Clun passed to his father-in-law Roger Mortimer of Wigmore (d1282). On Roger’s death his widow Maud de Braose (d1301) expelled the castellan* and ridiculed the sheriff of Shropshire from the castle’s battlements - much to the amusement of King Edward I who ordered the sheriff to cease molesting her!

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Photo: Andrew Tivenan

The castle ruins today consist of the Earl of Arundel’s great seventy foot high tower on the side of the castle motte. The motte top also supports the remains of two ‘Chateau Gaillard’ style solid turrets and the foundations of a great gatehouse, a giant round tower and numerous service buildings. On top of the motte, overlooking the old castle well, are the collapsed ruins of what may have been a rectangular keep, possibly constructed by Picot Say back in the eleventh century. The outer ward to the south had a gatehouse and a towering curtain wall, but now only foundations remain. Beyond this was a further ward now housing a bowling green. A fortified borough lay to the east and the church and Saxon village across the river to the south.

*A castellan was the governor or captain of a castle.