A couple of weeks ago, on the way back from the fabulous RNA conference in Telford, I visited Stokesay Castle. Stokesay was built in the 13th century but I was particularly interested in its 17th century history as my current book is set in the Civil War period. During this time, Stokesay belonged to the Craven family so there is also a connection to the work I do at the former Craven hunting lodge at Ashdown House; I couldn’t wait to visit.
Stokesay is small as castles go, more of a fortified manor house, but with everything you could want from a
Craven also made alterations to the interior of the castle, including adding this splendid chimney piece in the medieval solar.
As a Royalist, Craven garrisoned Stokesay on behalf of King Charles I during the Civil War, the only time in its history that the castle was put to military use. However the parliamentarians took Stokesay in 1645 and demolished the curtain wall, but happily they left the gatehouse standing.
Almost twenty years to the day after he had built Stokesay, William Craven constructed Ashdown House in