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Tong Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Tonge; Tongue; Thong

In the civil parish of Tong.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ79160693
Latitude 52.65991° Longitude -2.30964°

Tong Castle has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Castle, given a licence to crenellate in the 1381 issued to Fulk Pembrugge (Fulk de Pembridge), it was replaced c.1515 by a manor house. This was demolished c.1765 and replaced by a large house, this in turn has been demolished in 1954. The site has been excavated and five phases of occupation discovered from C12. A C12 cornmill was located. The area is now occupied by rubble and trees and a motorway built over part of site but slight fragmentary parts remain. (Derived from PastScape)

The remains of the castle are Listed in two parts, divided by the road. List description for part at SJ 79160696: ->
-> Castle, remains of. C14 to circa 1765. Sandstone and red brick on natural rock. Fragmentary remains of stables and outbuildings including barrel vaulted cellars and part of newel staircase. The site is now divided into two, and largely obscured, by the M54 Motorway (qv. Remains of Tong Castle at NGR SJ 7916 0693). George Durant the elder (d. 1780) demolished most of Sir Harry Vernon's circa 1500 castle in 1764 and replaced it with 'Capability' Brown's Gothic Castle in 1765, which was, in turn demolished in 1954. Recently excavated by the Shropshire Archaeological Society with report to follow (qv. Convent Lodge, wall with pulpit approximately 10 metres to East of Convent Lodge, The Old Post Office, former North gates and flanking walls). N. Pevsner. Buildings of England Shropshire, p3O4; G. Griffith, History of Tong and Boscobel, 1894, pp89-92 and pp154-61 ; D. H. Robinson, The Wandering Worfe, Waine Research Publications, 1980, pp56-9
List description for part at SJ 79160693: ->
-> Castle, remains of. C12 to the C16. Fragmentary remains of sandstone walls on natural rock. The site is now divided into two, and largely obscured, by the M54 Motorway (qv. Remains of Tong Castle at NGR SJ 7916 0696). George Durant the elder (d. 1780) demolished most of Sir Harry Vernon's circa 1500 castle in 1764 and replaced it with 'Capability' Brown's Gothick Castle in 1765, which was, in turn, demolished in 1954. Under excavation at the time of resurvey by the Shropshire Archaeological Society with report to follow (qv. Convent Lodge, wall with pulpit approximately 10 metres to East of Convent Lodge, The Old Post Office, former North gates and flanking walls). N. Pevsner. Buildings of England Shropshire, p3O4; G. Griffith, History of Tong and Boscobel, 1894, pp89-92 and pp154-61 ; D. H. Robinson, The Wandering Worfe, Waine Research Publications, 1980, pp56-9
(1763) Tong Castle is an irregular old edifice, built of stone, except the East Wing, which being demolished in the Civil Wars was rebuilt with brick in the same style of building with the rest (Gentleman Magazine 1763)
Copies of various interim reports on the 1976-1981 excavations by Alan Wharton (with Tong Archaeological Group and then a Community Enterprise Team) are held in the DRF. These need to be summarised.
Two 18th century views of Tong Castle from the east and the north east support the description given in of an irregular old edifice. The view from the east shows a building in a variety of styles, but apparently predominantly of 16th and 17th century date. Some features (including towers apparently with arrow slits and low, gabled ancillary buildings) on the north side suggest its medieval origins, however. The artist depicts a railed and walled courtyard fronting the building on the east side, and an elaborate classical portico is also shown. (Shropshire HER)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1381 July 24 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

The site is on a natural rocky promontory the end of which was cut by a ditch to form an inner ward. This was originally defended with a timber palisade (but not seemingly embanked) but the pallisade was replace by walls of red sandstone in the C12, when the ditch was recut and deepened. Further development lead to a castle with an inner and outer ward separated by a deep inner ditch and a further outer ditch. The elderly C12 castle was mainly replaced by a new manor house probably in association with the licence to crenellate granted in 1381.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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