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95x Hopton Castle by Paintings by Norman Neasom (1915 - 2010)

Hopton Castle

Watercolour - Signed and dated

Image Size: 11ins x 8.25ins

It is likely that the castle was founded in the 12th century as a motte and bailey by one of the Hoptons as a mesne lord of the Says of Clun Castle and that Walter de Hopton built the stone castle during the Barons' War of the 1260s. The bailey was fortified in stone and an impressive rectangular two-storey keep was built. The last Walter Hopton died during the Wars of the Roses and the castle passed by marriage to the Corbet family of Moreton Corbet Castle

During the Civil War Hopton Castle was one of the few castles to be held for the Parliament in the west. In 1644 Sir Michael Woodhouse, with a force of about 500, laid siege to the castle which was defended by about thirty Roundheads under the command of Samuel More who eventually agreed terms and surrendered

According to More's account all those who surrendered, apart from himself, were killed and buried. Other accounts vary on how the siege ended. They state that after a three-week siege, More delayed surrendering until the bailey had been taken and the entrance to the keep was on fire, at which point the garrison surrendered to Sir Michael Woodhouse, who at his at his disgression (his prerogative under the laws of war as they were practiced at that time), decided not to grant the majority of his prisoners quarter and they were killed by their captors

The castle was still habitable in 1700 but fell into disrepair soon afterwards. Substantial remnants of the much altered keep remain

Interesting that Norman should paint a gipsy family living at the foot of the reamains

This work is in a private collection

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