30/08/2018 - Permalink

Shrewsbury Castle prepares for the annual opening of Laura’s Tower

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Shrewsbury Castle is preparing for the once-a-year opening of the Grade II listed Laura’s Tower on Sunday 9 September 2018 as part of the national Heritage Open Days celebration.

An image of Laura's Tower at Shrewsbury Castle with green trees to the right and ivy growing up the side. Laura's Tower is open for the Heritage Open Days festival.

Laura’s Tower at Shrewsbury Castle (©Chris Glover)

Visitors will be able to step inside the 18th century tower where they will be able to take in the unique views of the Shrewsbury townscape that the tower offers.

Visitors will be in for an authentic experience, with a castle volunteer in full costume to set the scene as well as being on hand to answer any questions about the history of Laura’s Tower.

Visitors will also be able to explore the breathtaking castle grounds and visit Shrewsbury Castle itself, which houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum in the main hall, for free.

While inside the castle there are a range of puzzles for children and a teddy bear hunt among the arms, armoury and military collections on display.

An image of the Mercenaries of Mercia battle reenactment group outside Shrewsbury Castle which is the home of Laura's Tower.

Mercenaries of Mercia outside Shrewsbury Castle

Meanwhile, outside in the beautiful gardens, the ‘Mercenaries of Mercia’ re-enactment group will be having a tournament on the lawn. Times of these shows will be announced on the day.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“I’m delighted that preparations are well underway for the opening of Laura’s Tower. Last year’s opening was hugely popular, with over 2,000 people visiting on the one day of the year it was open!

“This year staff have worked hard to add events to the schedule for the day, so Sunday 9 September promises to be an exciting day. If you’re interested in history, have a fascination for amazing architecture or are looking for a fun family day out, I would encourage you to pay Shrewsbury Castle a visit. I am certainly looking forward to it.”

Ian Pritchard, custodian at Shrewsbury Castle, said:

“We’re only able to open Laura’s Tower once a year in order to protect it for future generations, so it’s always exciting to open it to the public.

“The views of Shrewsbury from the tower are truly unique so I would recommend visiting. It’s free for the day and there’s lots going on for adults and children alike.”

You will be able to step inside Laura’s Tower from 11am – 4pm on Sunday 9 September; you can enjoy the grounds and Shropshire Regimental Museum from 10am – 4pm.

An image of Shrewsbury Castle with the union jack flying at the left. There a lawns and plants that are in pristine condition on a beautiful summer day.

Grade I listed Shrewsbury Castle

Shrewsbury Castle and Laura’s Tower are made of Grinshill red sandstone and are remarkably well preserved.

Laura’s Tower was built by the famous Thomas Telford in c.1790 for the daughter of Sir William Pulteney for her 21st birthday as a summer house, and has been a grade II listed building since 1972.

For more information about the opening of Laura’s Tower and the exciting events, visit www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk. Alternatively, you can email shrewsburymuseum@shropshire.gov.uk or get in touch on Facebook.

Further Information

Shrewsbury Castle

The oldest parts of the castle were built between 1067 and 1074, during the reign of William the Conqueror and, gradually rebuilt in stone, it became a major border fortress in the Middle Ages. After the conquest of Wales by 1300 the castle fell into disrepair, but in the late 16th century it was revived to become a domestic residence.

Refortified and briefly besieged during the Civil Wars (1642-51), the castle was returned to a domestic use under Charles II. In the late 18th century Thomas Telford remodelled the Great Hall as a private house, which it remained until just after World War I.

The castle was acquired by the Corporation of Shrewsbury in 1924 through the generosity of Shropshire Horticultural Society. Shrewsbury Castle became the home of the Shropshire Regimental Museum in 1985.