Stokesay Castle, interior
Artist: Edward Blore
Medium: Pencil on paper
This outline drawing shows the interior hall of Stokesay Castle in Shropshire. Most of the building dates from the 13th century and its earliest features remain remarkably intact. The land on which the castle stands was sold to Lawrence of Ludlow in 1281, and he received a "license to crenellate" (build battlements) from Edward I in 1291. The Ludlows were among the leading contemporary English wool merchants. Based in Shrewsbury, they had international connections in trade and finance. Having settled at Stokesay, the family became well established locally, with many family members serving as sheriffs of Shropshire in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Stokesay itself is essentially a fortified manor house with an artificial moat. It was not referred to as a castle until some time in the 16th century. While the battlements and moat show a keen interest in defense, its interior design is more domestic and comfortable than militaristic. Nonetheless, the defensive features saved it from destruction when its grounds were the site of a skirmish in the English Civil War. To the north of the castle grounds is the Church of St John the Baptist.