Apley

apley

 

Apley Castle was a moated, fortified manor house in Hadley near Wellington. By the early 14th century the manor was owned by the Charlton family, who had become major landowners in the region, and in 1327 Sir Alan Charlton received a licence to crenellate (a licence granted by the King to fortify a premises) the manor house. The building work occurred shortly afterwards, producing a square building set around a central courtyard. Charlton’s descendants expanded the castle considerably into an Elizabethan mansion during the late 16th and early 17th century, using grey ashlar stone.

In 1642 the castle passed by marriage to Thomas Hanmer, who married Francis Charlton. With the outbreak of the English Civil War that year between the supporters of King Charles and Parliament, Hanmer, a royalist, fortified the mansion, which formed a valuable strategic stronghold close to Shrewsbury. Encouraged by Francis Charlton’s younger brother, the castle was sacked by Parliamentary forces during the war: £1,500 of damage was done and the lead from the roof was stolen for use at Shrewsbury Castle.

A second mansion, also called Apley Castle, was subsequently built between 1791-4 for the Charltons, and the repaired first castle was reused as the stableblock for this building. This building was demolished in 1955 and the stables fell into disrepair. In 1996 the stables, including their medieval elements, were renovated and turned into a private house. The site is a Grade 2 listed building.