Shrewsbury Castle, Shropshire
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, with an interesting history and interesting buildings to go along with it. The Shrewsbury Castle promised to be one of these interesting buildings: King Stephen lay siegeA military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender. to it in 1135, and it was briefly held by the Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in 1215. It was built on the original Anglo-Saxon site, and then expanded and rebuilt with stone during the Middle Ages, although little of its original structure remains. The building now houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum, which is said to contain items from the 1700s to the present.
Sadly, all of the information I have on the castle has been taken from the internet, as the castle is entirely subsumedIncluded or absorbed into something else. by the museum it contains. As such, it is very difficult to glean any sense of history from the building itself, which is small, inaccessible, and by no means the best example of a castle from that era. This lack of atmosphere probably wasn’t helped by a wedding happening onsite, and I’m sure the wedding party weren’t happy about having random visitors wandering in and out of wedding photos.
So, with the building lacking, that leaves us with the museum. Unfortunately, it was even more underwhelming than the castle, with most of the exhibits consisting of silverware and medals bequeathed to the museum. Being a regimental museum, one could expect it to be reasonably gung-ho, but there wasn’t even enough information or commentary for this to have been done well. Nothing was interactive, and there was nothing to entertain children of any age. Considering the year of visit (2014), something could have been made of the centenary of the First World War, but this opportunity was also by-and-large missed. The museum mainly serves as a focal point for veterans of the regiment, and is not particularly relevant to any other visitor. It did contain a small shop, and there were toilets, but there was no access for pushchairs or for those not particularly mobile. It was only a small fee for entry, but I still felt it didn’t represent value for money (although entry to the grounds is free, and could be worth an amble during a visit to Shrewsbury, but not as a reason for that visit).
To find out more about Shrewsbury Castle, click here.