Shrewsbury Castle and The Shropshire Regimental Museum
Shrewsbury Castle spans almost a millennium of our history, its origins dating back to Norman endeavours to secure the border with Wales.
Over the centuries its fortunes have varied widely - a powerful fortress of central strategic importance in the 11th Century and 12th century, it was a virtual ruin of no military significance at all by the time of Elizabeth I, when it was first used as a private residence. It saw action again - for the last time - during the Civil War, when a small Parliamentary force captured the Castle and town with little bloodshed.
Some 200 years later, the young Thomas Telford remodelled the castle, inside and out. In 1924, Shropshire Horticultural Society bought the castle and presented it to the Corporation of Shrewsbury, and it is now in the care of their successor, Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council.
Also during this century the castle returned to a military role in a peaceful way, by becoming home to the Shropshire Regimental Museum, whose displays robustly complement the ancient building's remarkable history.
Shrewsbury Castle is licensed for civil marriage ceremonies for further details Telephone (01743) 361196.
The Regimental Museum
Shropshire Regimental Museum houses the collections of the four Shropshire Regiments - King's Shropshire light Infantry, Shropshire Yeomanry, Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery and 4th Bn King's Shropshire Light Infantry TA.
On exhibit are the treasures gathered over the centuries, the colours bearing hard-won battle honours, now beautifully restored and hung around the Great Hall, the splendid regimental silver and china, the exotic uniforms and badges, the weapons from sword to machine gun, the medals gained in campaigns across the world, including three Victoria Crosses.
In 1992, the castle was the target of a terrorist firebomb attack which damaged both the building and collection. After exhaustive restoration it has reopened, and now the collection proudly lives up to the regimental motto Aucto Splendore Resurgo (I rise again in Greater Splendour).
The exhibition starts in the East Tower and Gallery, showing the early history of the castle and of the Shropshire soldier. The Main Hall tells the story of the Shropshire Regiments, starting with the formation of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment by Colonel William Whitmore of Apley and of the 85th Light Infantry (the first Light Infantry regiment) by Colonel The Viscount Pulteney in Shrewsbury.
The French Wars of 1793 to 1815 saw the formation of Shropshire's local regiments, the Yeomanry and the Volunteers. The display follows the regular regiments as they help to carve out and then garrison a world-wide empire and the territorial regiments at home ready for any crisis which might threaten the Nation. The Main Hall shows the spectacular part of the regiments' histories up to 1914.
On the ground floor of the Castle, the visitor is taken through the grimmer times of the two World Wars when men and women of Shropshire served in their thousands, many in specially raised Service and Home Guard battalions.
The story has been brought up to date, as withdrawal from empire and the end of the Cold War have seen great reduction in the numbers and size of Shropshire regiments.
The exhibit devoted to the Korean War of 1950-53 illustrates a new phase of soldiering, for the first time under the flag of the United Nations.
The last figure which visitors see as they leave the display wears the uniform of the 5th Bn The Light Infantry, today's volunteers, and successors to the long tradition of service in Shropshire.
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Shrewsbury Castle and The Shropshire Regimental Museum Postcode for SatNav: SY1 2AT