View Full Version : Archived: Sundorne Castle, Shrewsbury, Nov 2010

17-11-2010, 04:31 PM
Doing exploring in towns and cities is usually ok. You know the sorts of people you might meet - the kids, the skagheads and the homeless people. The countryside is a very different thing indeed. Much more scary for the explorer. I arrived at Sundorne castle late on, the light was fading and I nearly carried on away. Outside was a lorry, and 3 or 4 older blokes seemed to be loading it with all sorts. I parked up and went over. No one appeared to be carrying a gun, but I was wary. This was not near anywhere particular. I got the green light, and headed on in.
The gatehouse looked impressive - the road went underneath it. There were two doors - one was locked and the other was open. It didn't go anywhere, a loft hatch in the ceiling was open, but it was too dark to see anything.

Inside the gate was a large courtyard. The men threw a couple of doors to a fire, and ignored me. The ground underneath was muddy, and the light was going. Even the outside shots would need a tripod, and lightening later.

I went into one of the buildings. It was clear that it was being used for farm animals. The sheep in the fields next to the castle?

I headed up into one of the attics. Some of the ceiling had collapsed and I could barely stand in the darkness. This shot was a long exposure and is of some old fashioned heaters I think.

I came down and carried on through the gloom. Outside the fire crackled and hissed.

I crossed the yard and looked over. The men were back by the road, and looked to be heading off. One raised his hand and shouted to shut the gate as I left. In the corner was a tower, soon to be the location of my first disappointment. Inside the building was very dark.

It was clear that this building was also used for farm animals. It was empty.

I lifted a latch and went into a room at the base of the tower. Straw was on the floor, and a tiny amount of light came in through the high windows. It was only when I did a long exposure photograph that I noticed the remains of the wooden paneling on the walls. The floor was in poor shape, and my foot sank down into nothing near one of the corners.

In the corner, blocked by some machinery was the wooden staircase. A part of it looked in very poor condition. The ceiling had already collapsed into the room above. I didn't climb over to it. I knew I would regret it later, but did not like the look of the wood at all. An accident here and i would be stuck all night, and maybe longer. I spent about 10 minutes getting a picture though.

I took another picture at the bottom of the tower. The light came in through the exposed beams and missing ceiling

Back out in the yard and the light had faded more. It was getting colder too. I set up and took a couple of pictures of the beautiful water pump. Like a dick, I forgot to see if it worked. I guess that it probably would do.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5181443228_c6c9c3ba2d.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4127/5180844115_f39a5d1a40.jpg

Inside this part was darker still. Again, this part was for farm related stuff too.

The sun had almost set now, and the light was fading fast. This looked to the chapel. The second disappointment of the day was there was no access to this at all. Gutted. For reference, the windows were smashed long ago, the floor ripped up and it was used for animals. However, would there still be things on the walls? Any other features? I don't know. Please go and find out if you are near:thumb

I knew that the big house had gone - pulled down like most of England's great country houses in the 1950s (this one was 1955) by the gangs of Irish laborers. Many many great houses were lost during this time, before the listing of buildings had started. General maintenance and running costs meant that they simply were too expensive to take on. Shame, as the house was originally built in 1740. A description of the house in the mid 19th century makes it sound pretty impressive.

The entrance-hall is very large, and the staircase of richly carved oak. The library is fifty-two feet long, with a wide square recess, having a large mullioned window of stained glass. In an ante-drawing-room is a table filled with one hundred and twenty-eight different kinds of foreign marbles.

This is what it looked like. Today there was a large pile of rubble covered in nettles and dying rose bay willow herb.You can see the chapel to the right, across the croquet lawn.

A picture that I took from the croquet lawn. Some of the stonework is still there. Still gutted to not get inside.

Further round was more gates, these at the bottom of a very overgrown driveway. I think these would have been the original gates to the house from the driveway. A large crack was visable above the tiny doorway on the right, zigzagging across the entrance.

I headed back to check out a few more of the rooms that I had missed. The fire was still going well, and I stopped for a minute to warm my hands. I loved this door. It led to the croquet lawn area, now the sheep field.

Another small room off the yard was next. I don't know what this would have been used for. Workshop?

I decided not to risk checking what was in the attic in here, the staircase having slipped precariously. It creaked ominously as i began my ascent. I stopped.

This one had a fireplace in. On the left were two beautiful wooden window frames. Were these from the original castle before it was demolished?

On the top of the fireplace were some old bottles. I have put the picture big so you can read the label if you want. I liked looking at them.

The light was now fading quickly and I called it a day. A last shot of the day, looking back over the remains of Sundorne Castle.

There are loads of pictures as it is a place i really liked visiting.