A little over 900 years ago, the first Tamworth castle was built overlooking the River Anker where it flows into the River Tame, in what is now Tamworth, England.
Unlike many castles on this site which have Norman origins – castles are basically a Norman/continental European invention – the site predates 1066 with Anglo Saxon roots.
Over time, it has been rebuilt and expanded to become the imposing Norman structure that we see today. But what secrets does this Castle hold?
Many of us have heard ghost stories associated with castles – but did you know that there are actually three ghosts said to haunt Tamworth Castle?
One is even said to be a former owner of the castle. If you’re interested in learning more about these spooky tales, read on.
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Where Is Tamworth Castle?
Tamworth is in the West Midlands County of Staffordshire, about 20 miles North East of Britain’s second largest city, Birmingham.
History of Tamworth Castle
Although the castle was built by the Normans in the 11th century, the site has an Anglo Saxon origin.
The great Anglo Saxon King Offa had his base on the location of the current castle from which he ruled the powerful Kingdom of Mercia.
It was fortified by the Normans in the motte and bailey design and was built to control the strategically important crossing of the River Tame.
Over the centuries, the castle was expanded and remodelled, and became one of the largest and most luxurious castles in England.
It was home to many notable families, including the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Stafford, and the Duke of Buckingham.
In the 16th century, the castle was partially destroyed during the English Civil War, and then rebuilt in the Victorian era.
Today, the castle is open to the public and is a popular tourist attraction.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Tamworth Castle, then why not pay a visit?
The castle is open to the public all year round, and there are plenty of guided tours available.
The Architecture of Tamworth Castle
Tamworth Castle is a Norman motte and bailey castle (a motte is a hill on which a keep stands; the bailey is the fortified compound below the keep.
Tamworth’s keep is a large square tower with four corner turrets. The walls of the keep are eleven feet thick at the base and taper to nine feet thick at the top. The castle has a moat that is fifteen feet deep and sixty feet wide.
The castle was besieged and captured by Parliamentary forces in 1647 during the English Civil War but escaped ‘slighting’ – deliberate destruction of military assets common around this time – as it was used by Cromwellian forces as a strategic base.
The castle fell into disrepair over the next couple of centuries but was restored in the 19th century.
Ghost Stories Associated With the Castle
Tamworth Castle has a long and rich history and has been associated with many ghost stories over the years.
One of the most famous is that of the “Black Lady”, a ninth century nun called Editha who was expelled from the castle.
She is said to haunt the ‘Lady’s Chamber’ room, pleading with visitors to be let back into the castle.
Today: What You Can See and Do at Tamworth Castle
Tamworth castle is a great place to visit if you want to see a real life castle. You can go on a guided tour of the castle and learn all about its history.
You can also explore the castle grounds and see the beautiful gardens. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go on a ghost hunt!
Here are the opening times and admissions fees: