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CLUN CASTLE

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The site of a medieval motte and three baileys surviving as an earthwork and stone buildings. The remains are situated on a natural rocky mound in the loop of the River Clun on the edge of Clun village (a planned 12th century settlement). It was originally built of wood between 1090 and 1110, probably by Picot de Say, a follower of William the Conqueror. It would have guarded the valley route into Wales and been a monument to the English monarchy in the border region, as well as an administrative centre of the Barony of Clun. The castle was captured and burnt down by the Welsh in 1196, led by Rhys, prince of south Wales. The lordship of Clun at this time was held by the Fitz Alan family and John Fitz Alan joined a revolt against King John in 1215; the castle was rebuilt and withstood a later siege by Llewellyn in 1233.

It was rebuilt in stone in the late 13th century by the Fitz Alans who used it as a residence and hunting lodge. This phase survives as the ruined four-storeyed Great Tower built onto the side of the motte (mound), and curtain walls. Edward I spent the night at the castle in 1295, but by the early 15th century the devastation caused by Owain Glyn Dwr, self-styled prince of Wales, brought an end to the castle's prosperity. Although the castle continued to be used as a hunting lodge, it was no longer the Fitz Alans main residence, and by 1539 it had fallen into a ruinous state. The castle played no part in the Civil War, and was eventually bought by the Dukes of Norfolk, descendants of the medieval Fitz Alans.

The castle farm was within the smallest of the three baileys (courtyards) where the bowling green is now situated. Across the river lie the remains of medieval gardens. In the early 16th century a courthouse was added, further alterations were carried out in 1780 and 1885. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.