If you were to ask me to name the thing that interests me the most , I’d probably have to see the local wildlife, but I’ve been taking a bit more of a interest in our local Shropshire history just recently.
Man has been living round here for thousands of years and has made his mark on the landscape. We have old drovers roads over a thousand years old. These roads connected village to village and some still exist these days.
We have many iron age hill forts in Shropshire. The Iron Age period covers the 900 years or so from 800BC.
Probably a couple of the most famous historical periods that Shropshire is know for are the times of the War of the Roses and Tudor times when Ludlow Castle was an important stronghold.
In the War of the Roses the battle of Mortimers Cross was fought about 10 miles south of here.
Of course we have Hopton Castle within a 20 minute walk of the house. We actually had time team here a few years ago investigating its very bloody history. You watch the programme of youtube here.
But there are also lesser known mounds and earthworks that give a hint to what went on round here. I was driving back from Ludlow the other day when I noticed a mound covered with trees in a local field. It’s one of those parts of the landscape that you can’t see once the hedgerows are fully clothed in leaves.
A bit of internet investigation tells me that it is Broadward Hall motte and it’s the remains of a motte castle that controlled a crossing point on the River Clun. I can’t get a definitive answer for how old it is but Motte Castles were introduced into England after the Normal conquest in 1066 and superseded by other designs in the 13th Century.
There’s a public footpath from the road that takes you along the river and past the motte if you wanted to take a closer look.
A bit more investigation also tells me that Warfield bank, the smaller hill you can see from Hopton House ( an the one that the dogs I are looking at in the photo above ) was also a motte, with speculation locally that it was built on a much earlier iron age fort.
If you’re interested in local history then I recommend a visit to the Ludlow museum.